Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe has acknowledged that he has been hurt by the departure of manager Unai Emery. The Ivorian has struggled to make an impression in the Premier League during the opening four months of the season and he has been restricted to the solitary goal which came from the penalty spot.
As a result, there has been criticism from a section of the fans but Pepe remains upbeat that he can transform his fortunes around. In an interview with RMC, Pepe accepted that he is unhappy after the dismissal of Emery, given the Spaniard was responsible for luring him to the north London side during the summer.
He added that he has not enjoyed the best of times in the Gunners shirt and it is up to him to regain a starting role at the north London side, he told RMC: “Losing Emery was painful for me. He’s the coach who brought me here. It’s painful. Freddie? He used to play so he understands me. It’s up to me to win my place. My first four months have been a bit negative on balance. I’m not at all satisfied with my stats. I understand the criticism. I was signed to make the difference and I’ve not done that. I need to adapt, especially to box to box element of Premier League. I need to finish my chances.”
Pepe did not make an appearance during Emery’s final game in charge against Eintracht Frankfurt and the same was the case for the league clash at Norwich City, where interim boss Freddie Ljungberg decided against using him. However, the Ivorian was able to feature for 45 minutes of the 2-1 league defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion and he will be hoping for more gametime to impress as the Gunners head into the festive schedule of games.