Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang says he’s pleased to see Nicolas Pepe return from suspension and backed the Ivorian to find the consistency that so far has been lacking in his game since he joined Arsenal in August 2019.
Banned for three games following his red card for violent conduct against Leeds United, the winger has been sidelined for consecutive defeats in the Premier League to Wolves, Sp*rs and Burnley. In his absence, his teammates have continued to struggle in front of goal with centre-back Gabriel the only player to find the net on the domestic front in the last six weeks.
In contrast, the Gunners have been free-scoring in the Europa League; a competition ever-present Pepe has impressed in, scoring three goals and making three assists.
Ahead of Southampton’s visit to the Emirates, Aubameyang played up his pal’s return, writing in the official matchday programme: “We’ve got Pepe back from suspension tonight and we’re all pleased to see him back because he’s been going well in the Europa League while he’s been out in the Premier League.
“Myself and Laca are always with him at the training ground and we always support each other and try to help each other out. We often think and talk to each other about how we can do better and what we can improve.
“But I know Nico is a fantastic player. I think he just needs to find the right way to be consistent in these games. And that’s it really that’s all he needs, but for sure with time he’s going to show everyone he’s the type of player we are waiting to see.”
He added: “He needs confidence, he’s a guy who needs that of course, but I think every player needs confidence to be honest. We are all human beings and of course you need confidence even if you are strong in your mind.
“Everyone needs confidence and we try to give our best to him, for him to feel comfortable in the team. I hope he can make a difference now his suspension is over.”
We certainly echo those sentiments. Please, Nico. Save us.