Arsenal’s record summer signing Nicolas Pépé is struggling to cope with life in the Premier League, and is suffering from a lack of confidence.
The Ivory Coast winger, signed for £72 million from French club Lille, has had a difficult start to his career in England, managing just one goal in 8 appearances, a penalty “gifted” to him by regular spot taker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the win over Aston Villa.
He had a particularly tough night against Manchester United on Monday, giving the ball away 17 times before he was substituted for Reiss Nelson, with 16 minutes of the match left.
The player himself has admitted to a lack of confidence saying “I’m not good enough in my stats or my usual form, it’s not the same as in Lille or during the Liverpool match early in the season. ‘The confidence must come back.”
However, his manager, Unai Emery, has tried to give him encouragement, by saying that it is normal to have problems adapting at first to a new culture, league and language, and believes that Pépé will come good in the end. Emery commented” “I am sure that Pepe is an amazing player, I am sure he is going to have a big career here but he needs time. A lot of players when they came here, the first month, the first year is not easy for them.
“He still needs to play, get confidence, know progressively better the other players, our work. I think he is progressing.”
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.