Mikel Arteta links Nicolas Pepe price tag to expectations.
Mikel Arteta has admitted that Nicolas Pepe’s price tag has affected the expectations placed on the Ivorian. Pepe joined the Gunners from Lille last summer after an impressive campaign in the French Ligue 1.
He was one of the best players in France last season and Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign him for £72 million.
He has since scored just three goals in the Premier League this season and fans have been overly critical of his performance considering that he just moved to the Premier League.
Arteta has trusted the winger since he was named Arsenal’s manager last year and he hopes that the 24-year-old will soon start producing the goods.
He, however, admits that for a player signed with such an amount much would be expected from him and that it was ok for him to be compared to players bought with the same amount.
“The price that we paid for him puts him in a difficult position straight away because he’s going to be compared to players of that calibre,” Arteta said on Friday as quoted in the Mirror.
“He was in France and was one of the biggest stars in the league. He had an incredible year.
“Now he comes here and a lot of people didn’t even know him and you paid that price tag.
“So for him to put his brain into this picture and solve all this is not easy. And he’s a really young player.”
Pepe has shown flashes of brilliance in his time at the Emirates but he needs to be more consistent to help the Gunners improve their league position.