Nicolas Pepe looking to ‘find smile again’ with regular football

November 11, 2020
By: Daniel Orme

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe has said suggested that he wants to find his smile at Arsenal again with more regular football.

The Ivorian has not been an automatic starter under current Gunners’ boss Mikel Arteta, making just one start in the Premier League thus far in the 2020/21 campaign and scoring one goal against Sheffield United.

Even last season following his club record move from Lille, Pepe struggled to reach expectations, netting just five goals and providing six assists in the league.

Having been on the bench for the majority of this season so far, the 25-year-old is determined to rediscover his enjoyment of the game.

Talking to Canal Plus, Pepe said: “My goal is to play more. To have a little more playing time. A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again.

“He (Arteta) wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match. Afterwards, I see during training that I will be a substitute the following weekend.

“But the coach speaks to me, he also has assistants who are there for that. But it is frustrating for any player to be on the bench.

“A super-sub role? The coach makes his choices. It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role.”

Pepe could be in action on Thursday evening as the Ivory Coast take on Madagascar in AFCON qualification. Les Elephants sit at a price of 2/7 with Betfred to win the match.

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