Nicolas Pepe admits his Arsenal stats for the season don’t make for good reading and that his confidence has taken a hit in recent weeks.
The £72 million summer signing grabbed his first goal of the season from the penalty spot against Aston Villa but was out of sorts again in last night’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The winger has registered two assists in his eight appearances so far, but it’s fair to say he’s been upstaged in the last few weeks by 18-year-old Academy graduate Bukayo Saka.
On the plus side, he’s not worried and he’s promising he’ll adapt soon.
“It has not been easy, I must tell the truth,” Pepe told French radio station RMC.
“My stats have not been good enough or my usual performances, it is not the same as Lille or the Liverpool game earlier in the season.
“My confidence must come back. I am not very worried. People may be worried about my statistics but I am not.
“I have to keep working as the level here is different [and] so is the language.
“It is a new league for me and I must adapt quickly. But it won’t take very long.”
The worrying thing about Pepe’s form is that it started to dip when he went to the African Cup of Nations prior to moving to London. In his first couple of games, he seemed to play with a bit more freedom, his quick turns lighting up the Burnley game and his running causing Liverpool trouble. More recently, games have passed him by.
With Alex Lacazette out injured, Eddie Nketiah on loan and the new boy not firing on all cylinders we’ve become unsustainably reliant on the ruthlessness of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It has to change and it has to change soon.