Mikel Arteta Explains How Nicolas Pepe is finding His Best Form For Arsenal
Mikel Arteta explains how Nicolas Pepe is finding his best form for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta praises Nicolas Pepe for his recent improvements in an Arsenal shirt. The Ivory Coast international has been a regular fixture in the first team in recent games and he scored the opener in the 2-1 defeat by Wolves last week.
Pepe also played the full 90 minutes but was unable to get on the score- sheet during Arsenal’s disappointing 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime.
The 25-year-old has struggled to find consistent form for the Gunners since his big- money move from Lille, but he is now showing glimpses of his talent in front of goal. Pepe has scored seven goals and made three assists in all competitions so far this season, and Arteta has been pleased with the way the forward has been applying himself.
Speaking about Pepe’s recent performances before the clash with Aston Villa, Arteta said: “Well if you ask me personally what I think of the performance that he put in overall, in all the phases of the game [against Wolves], I think it is the best he has played. His contribution to those aspects is the best that he has done and he needs to sustain that.
“When you have momentum in football when you have to earn the right to play, then you can not lose it. In order to do that you need to do the basics right and keep doing what you are doing. If not you know that someone else will be knocking on your door.
“I don’t know how much he wants but he needs guidance. And he needs clarity in what he needs to do. And then he needs the discipline on the pitch to do what he needs to do. And obviously he needs the freedom in certain moments to express himself as a player. You can not restrict that for sure. Arsenal will return to Premier League action next weekend when they look to get back to winning ways with a home clash against Leeds United. The Gunners will then travel to take on Benfica in the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday 18 February.