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Pepe doing his best to meet expectations - Arteta

Wed 23 December 2020 | 10:20

Pepe has not lived up to expectations since joining Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta stressed that Nicolas Pepe is doing his best to meet expectations.

Arsenal managed to sign Pepe from Lille in August 2019 by defeating rivals for £72 million. Pepe had established himself as one of the most dangerous players in the French league, scoring 37 goals in 79 games, but this was not the Emirates' case. He has scored just 13 goals in 61 games for

Arsenal

, five of which have been scored this season. Now Arteta stressed that Pepe is trying to meet expectations.

The Spanish coach told reporters:

"He is hurting, he is suffering – believe me, I am close to him – and he is trying his best."

"He feels the responsibility because be knows why the club brought him here and he wants to deliver that."

Arteta added:

 "I would always defend my players. Whatever I have to discuss with him, it will be internally.

"Pepe wants to do his best and help as much as he possibly can. This is what I am interested in.

"It is my job and if he doesn't, it is my fault. He is trying his best.  We all know Nico and sometimes his body language makes him feel bad."

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