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Mikel Arteta warns Nicolas Pepe that he has “no excuses” left at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta insists Nicolas Pepe’s adaption period has now ended and he must begin producing for Arsenal.

The winger made a club record £72m move from Lille last summer, but has struggled to regularly perform.

In his first season he scored eight times – several of which were memorable strikes – yet didn’t influence games often enough.

He has topped that total so far this season but Arteta has called on the Ivorian to shift his mindset insisting there are “no excuses”.

The Spaniard said: “Nico has this ability – it depends on him, we can help him as much as we want but he needs to have the right mindset and consistency to do what he can do.

Nicolas Pepe has been an inconsistent performer at Arsenal

“Because that is the level that we are going to ask of him, the level I am asking of him – if it is something below that he is not going to play but if he does what he can do he will have a big chance to play because he has got incredible ability.

“He just needed to change his mindset. He needed a period of adaptation and that is gone now.

“So we cannot rely on adaptation again, now it is about performance and he can do it.

“He has got the players to support him, a manager that trusts him, he has got all the staff that are willing to help him and all the team-mates who really like him because he is a really likeable character so there are no excuses.”

Mikel Arteta is demanding more from the Ivorian
Mikel Arteta is demanding more from the Ivorian

Pepe’s performances have continued to deceive this season with several highs and lows.

He scored in both legs of Arsenal’s Europa League win over Slavia Prague recently but was sent-off at Leeds in November after headbutting Ezgjan Alioski.

Half of Pepe’s league outings this season have come off the bench with the 25-year-old still looking to nail down a regular start.




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