Nicolas Pepe admits he’s frustrated at his sporadic game time at the Emirates but maintains it’s up to him to persuade the coach that he’s worthy of more minutes.
The Ivorian winger has featured in seven of Arsenal’s eight Premier League fixtures this season but started only once, away at Manchester City in October.
The 25-year-old has shown flashes of his ability in the Europa League – a competition in which he’s registered two goals and two assists in three games – but finding consistency in a side struggling for attacking fluidity has proved difficult.
“My goal is to play more. Have a little more playing time,” Pepe told French outlet Canal Plus.
“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.”
“The coach makes his choices. It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role.”
Pepe is currently on international duty with Ivory Coast who face Madagascar twice as part of their attempts to qualify for the African Cup of Nations in January 2022.