Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has fired a warning to Gunners new boy Nicolas Pepe after his slow start to life at the Emirates Stadium.
The Ivory Coast international shone at previous club Lille but has not yet made much of an impact since joining Arsenal in a big-money move that generated plenty of hype and excitement.
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Arsenal fans will no doubt be disappointed with what they’ve seen from Pepe so far, and Wenger has also suggested it could cost the player a regular place in Unai Emery’s side.
Youngsters like Joe Willock, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka look like they could rival Pepe for a place in Arsenal’s attack, and Wenger has suggested the 24-year-old cannot be assured of keeping his place in the team if he does not improve.
Still, the Frenchman also said he’s a fan of Pepe and that he’s simply not yet playing with the kind of freedom he enjoyed in his time in Ligue 1.
“I like the player and I thought it was a good decision [to sign him],” Wenger told Omnisport, as quoted by Goal.
“He’s not yet completely adapted and you have to give him some time. He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment.
“I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment.
“On the other hand, I must say we have good young players who can play on the flanks, [and] that he will have a fight to keep his position.”