Pepe Talks About Difficult Start To Arsenal Career

Winger Scored Europa League Brace

Nicolas Pepe Arsenal
Image: Arsenal FC

Arsenal record signing Nicolas Pepe admits he hasn’t lived up to expectations since his £72 million transfer in the summer.

The Ivory Coast international scored 22 goals for Lille in Ligue 1 last season but has found the net just once in the Premier League for Arsenal.

But Pepe scored two late goals in Thursday night’s 3-2 win over Portugese side Vitoria Guimaraes at the Emirates – his first goal in over a month.

Speaking after the match, Pepe said he knew it would be difficult to make an immediate mark in England.

“As soon as I arrived Pierre {Emerick Aubameyang] and Alexandre [Lacazette] helped me,” Pepe said. “I talked a lot to them.

“The manager trusts me. Even if I hadn’t been decisive, I had the manager’s trust. It is always important to have the manager’s faith.

“Of course I knew it would be hard. This is a league totally different to Ligue 1. There is a different intensity.

“I had to adapt quickly because expectations were high. Unfortunately, that is not what I did at the beginning – but I had the manager’s trust and the players have supported me. I keep working hard.”