Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe admits to being unhappy over lack of playing time

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Pepe’s Arsenal stint

Arsenal secured Nicolas Pepe’s services in the summer of 2019 for a club-record £72m.

Despite having an outstanding season the campaign prior with Lille, Pepe’s first year in England was pretty underwhelming.

The Ivorian struggled to hold down a regular starting spot last term, as well as failing to produce anywhere near the numbers we saw he is capable of with Lille.

2020/21 has seen a similar tale unfold for the 25-year-old.

Pepe has scored two and assisted two in just three Europa League outings so far this season.

In the Premier League, though, the story is very much different.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Pepe wants to find a smile again

Pepe has featured in seven of the north Londoners’ eight league outings this season.

However, just one of those matches has seen Pepe handed a starting berth.

Now, with the international break upon us, Pepe has been voicing his frustration at his lack of playing time.

The winger even went as far as to claim he would like to play more in order to find a smile again:

“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.”

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Leicester City FC 8 9 18
2 Tottenham Hotspur FC 8 10 17
3 Liverpool FC 8 2 17
4 Southampton FC 8 4 16
5 Chelsea FC 8 10 15
6 Aston Villa FC 7 9 15
7 Everton FC 8 2 13
8 Crystal Palace FC 8 0 13
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 8 -1 13
10 Manchester City FC 7 1 12
11 Arsenal FC 8 -1 12
12 West Ham United FC 8 4 11
13 Newcastle United FC 8 -3 11
14 Manchester United FC 7 -2 10
15 Leeds United 8 -3 10
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 8 -3 6
17 Fulham FC 8 -8 4
18 West Bromwich Albion 8 -11 3
19 Burnley FC 7 -9 2
20 Sheffield United FC 8 -10 1
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 8
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 8
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 8
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 8
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 7
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 7
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 5
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Adams, Che Southampton FC 3
Ward-Prowse, James Southampton FC 3



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