Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has warned Nicolas Pepe that his period of “adaptation” at the club is over and there are “no excuses” not to perform from now on.
Pepe joined the Gunners in a club record £72million transfer.
The Ivorian winger scored a goal in each of the two legs of Arsenal’s 5-1 aggregate Europa League win over Slavia Prague, but has struggled to perform consistently throughout his time at the Emirates.
Arteta admits it has taken time for Pepe to settle, although he was clear that the period of transition has to end.
“Nico has this ability – it depends on him, we can help him as much as we want but he needs to have the right mindset and consistency to do what he can do.
“Because that is the level that we are going to ask of him, the level I am asking of him – if it is something below that he is not going to play but if he does what he can do he will have a big chance to play because he has got incredible ability.
“He just needed to change his mindset. He needed a period of adaptation and that is gone now.
“So we cannot rely on adaptation again, now it is about performance and he can do it.
“He has got the players to support him, a manager that trusts him, he has got all the staff that are willing to help him and all the team-mates who really like him because he is a really likeable character so there are no excuses,” Arteta told the media ahead of Sunday’s home game against Fulham.