Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has urged midfielder Nicolas Pepe to maximize his potential and show the quality he has. The Ivory Coast winger has struggled since his move to England in the summer and has left the fans and a few pundits wondering whether he will be able to settle at Arsenal or even the Premier League.
Since his move to Emirates Stadium, Pepe has scored four goals in 20 appearances. "It was a big change for him from France to come here. As well he found a team that in that moment was not performing at the best," Arteta said. "Probably, the environment for him to settle wasn't ideal. It isn't just about him, we are here to help him. If he is willing to learn, to work hard I am sure he has potential to be top, absolutely top. [Against Bournemouth] he showed in two or three actions already how good he can be. But he has to be consistent."
The Spaniard went on to state that Pepe is not suffering from any confidence issues but needs the trust of the manager, which will happen only if he trains well. "The problem with the confidence is he is confident only if he plays or he is confident of the manager if he trains well enough to convince me that I have confidence in him. I think it has to be a mix between the two."
The match against Chelsea on Sunday evening will be Arteta's first home match in charge and recalling his final day as a player he said, "I remember the last time I was going down the tunnel, with my kids in my arms. I said to my wife, 'One day I will come back here as the manager. It has come a little quicker than I expected but that was a dream."
(inputs from arsenal.com)