Nicolas Pepe has voiced his frustrations over his lack of playing time in an interview with French outlet Canal Plus (via Sky Sports).
The £36m-rated winger has been on the periphery of the first team in the Premier League, starting just one of the eight games so far this season.
In his interview with the publication, Pepe claimed that it is frustrating for anyone who is on the bench.
He said: “A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again. He (Arteta) wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match. Afterwards, I see during training that I will be a substitute the following weekend.”
“But the coach speaks to me, he also has assistants who are there for that. But it is frustrating for any player to be on the bench.” (Canal Plus via Sky Sports)
Who should start on the left-wing against Newcastle United?
It seems staggering that Pepe has only started one game in the top-flight this campaign, especially after you analyse how poor Willian has been performing.
The Brazilian is a shadow of the player he was last year and has only completed one take-on so far this season. That is quite shocking especially because you expect your winger to take on a fullback and attempt to beat him in an attempt to put in a cross.
That is an area where Pepe beats the 33-year-old all ends up when you look at the two players. The Ivory Coast international has competed in more duels than his compatriot (via Squawka), despite having played in half the minutes than the former Chelsea man.
It seems as though Arteta’s attempts to shore up the Gunners defence has led him to choose the more defensively minded winger in Willian. If the Spaniard wants to get the side playing more free-flowing attacking football, Pepe must start ahead of the veteran attacker.
Arsenal fans, do you think Pepe deserves to start against Leeds United? Let us know your thoughts!