Although Nicolas Pepe didn’t start either of our first two Premier League games, Mikel Arteta sounded a positive note about the club’s record signing ahead of our trip to Anfield on Monday evening.
The Ivorian was involved in midweek, showing strength and persistence to force an own goal in the Carabao Cup against Leicester, and the Arsenal boss is pleased in general with what he’s seeing from the player.
Admitting he had a lot to deal with in his first season in England, including the £72m price-tag, Arteta insisted that the 25 year old can produce good performances on a consistent basis for years to come.
“I think he’s come a long way, Nico,” he said. “Obviously we know what the club paid for him when he joined and that was obviously an extra pressure.
“He’s player that had to adapt to a different style, but he has a really good attitude. We can see big developments in a lot of phases in his game.
He’s very settled here, he’s liked by the boys, he’s a really good character to have around and I’m really positive we’re gonna have him for many years, and that he can perform to a high level consistently.”
The arrival of his former Lille teammate, Gabriel, is something also Arteta views as beneficial.
“I think for both of them they know each other,” he said. “They’re spending some time together now, so I think it’s a positive.”