MIKEL ARTETA has challenged winger Nicolas Pepe to start participating in the Arsenal season and show that he still has a future in the UAE.
The Premier League game did not start in four months after the club failed to remove Bokayo Saka from signing the ریکارڈ 72 million record.
And he is likely to return to the bench for today’s home match against Brentford. Gabriel Martinelli Being suspended.
But Artita has refused to remove the 26-year-old Ivorian, and believes he has seen better behavior from the player since returning from the recent Africa Cup of Nations.
Gunners boss Artita said: “We really have a small squad and we need Nico the best because hopefully he understands that I want to play with him.
“I don’t want a player like him to sit on the bench and not use it because that is the moment when I can give him a chance.
“But since he came back from Afcon, I’ve noticed a difference in his demeanor, his smile, his energy and the way he communicates.
“I think he felt important again, like a good footballer who can win the tournament, and I’m really happy because he needed it.
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“Now he realizes the importance of the end of the season for himself. He had a great end last season and we want him to make a copy of it.
Pepe, signed by former manager Unai Emery from Lille in 2019, was Arsenal’s second top scorer last season with 16 goals.
But he has scored just two Carabao Cup goals against West Brom and Sunderland this season and is in danger of losing his way after more than two years on his £ 140,000-week contract.
“I hope he still sees his long-term future with us, but when a player does not play, he is disappointed,” admitted Artita.
“Nico wants to take a few more minutes and hopefully he can do it and contribute to the team because he has the ability to do it.”
Today’s game will be Arsenal’s first meeting with Brent Ford after the embarrassing 2-0 defeat at the hands of Thomas Frank’s team in the opening match of the season.
No one was hurt that night more than Ben White, who was given a tough time by Ivan Tony on his Arsenal debut after a اقدام 50m summer move from Brighton.
But Centerhof, 24, has barely made a single mistake since then, and Artita said: “The way Ben has reacted shows that he has a great personality and the courage to take action. ۔
“The way he is perceived is very important to Ben. He knows what people think of him and he is transmitting what he wants to be.
“That’s what we want from all our players because then they will be ready to compete.”
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