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Nicolas Pepe unhappy with lack of playing time under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
(Image credit: Michael Regan/NMC Pool)

Nicolas Pepe has admitted he is unhappy with his lack of playing time under Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

The 25-year-old, Arsenal’s record £72million signing, has impressed in the cup competitions this season but has started only one match in the Premier League.

“My goal is to play more. To have a little more playing time,” Ivory Coast winger Pepe told French channel Canal Plus.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has not always picked Nicolas Pepe (Andy Rain/PA)

“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.

“A super-sub role? The coach makes his choices. It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role.”

Pepe has scored 11 goals in 54 appearances since joining Arsenal from Lille in 2019.