Arteta claims the £72million won’t be out of his plans.
Following Pepe’s direct red card against Leeds United for headbutting Ezgjan Alioski, he will face a three-match domestic ban. The match which ended up a goalless draw at Elland Road made the gunner boss branding Pepe’s behavior “unacceptable”.
Arteta rejected the possibility of freezing 25 years old winger out of his plans, who failed to perform after he arrived from Lille in August 2019.
“We have all had disappointing reactions in our playing careers,”
the Arsenal manager said ahead of the Europa League tie in Norway, where a win is enough to secure qualification.
“Obviously we were frustrated because when you play against a team like Leeds for a long time with 10 men, it makes a huge difference,”
“He had a really good reaction, the way he apologised, the way he understood his responsibility and hopefully tomorrow we can see the player that we want to see, and have a good reaction to help his team.”
“No, it is absolutely not (the end of his Arsenal career after the red card). It’s not about that and I don’t like that type of statement.
“I will give Nico my full support all the time. He knows where he has to improve and we all know his qualities.
“He has some responsibility, I have a lot of responsibility, which is to get the best out of him and get the best position for him, the best areas where he can do what he can do with the ball.
“But there have been some aspects he can do better in because he has the ability. That’s where I’m going to put the pressure on him to deliver what he can do. To say it’s a threat for him to finish his (Arsenal) career, it is not at all like that.
“He has reacted the right way after that (sending off) and hopefully I can see a player that shows that every week.
“It is in his hands. He is a player I really like, that I know what he can give, and it is completely up to him.”
Bukayo Saka and Willian both will miss the Europa League match following their injuries at Elland Road, which will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s Premier League home game against Wolves.
Although they can secure qualification with a fourth successive Group B win, Arteta warned against complacency.
“They made it difficult for us in the first leg and tomorrow on an artificial pitch, it becomes different,”
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