The Gunners boss says he expects improved performances from the Ivorian forward.
scored the opening goal forArsenal
in their Europa League clash againstSlavia Prague
on Thursday. The Gunners won the match with a crushing 4-0 result as they reached the competition’s semi-finals. Pepe has struggled to satisfy expectations at Emirates Stadium since his arrival in 2019, but
says the Ivorian must soon take the next step in developing himself as a key player for the north London club.
“I think he needed to do that, yes,”
Arteta said when asked about Pepe’s adaptation at Arsenal.
“He needed a period of adaptation and that is gone now. So we cannot rely on adaptation again. Now it is about performance and he can do it.
“He has got the players to support him, a manager that trusts him, he has got all the staff that are willing to help him and all the team-mates who really like him because he is a really likable character, so there are no excuses.”
Pepe has featured in 23 league matches for the Gunners in their current campaign, scoring 5 goals and providing an assist.
The Spaniard added:
"He needs to have the right mindset and consistency to do what he can do because that is the level we are going to ask of him, the level I am asking of him.
"If it is something below that, he is not going to play but if he does what he can do he will have a big chance to play because he has incredible ability.”
Arsenal will faceFulham
in their next Premier League clash on Sunday.