Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists Nicolas Pepe is gradually improving and growing in confidence with each game.
The Ivory Coast international joined Arsenal for a club record £72m fee from Lille this summer but has scored just one goal in his first 10 games for the Gunners.
He missed a guilt-edged chance in Monday’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and has looked short of ideas at time this season.
The Gunners missed the chance to move up to third in the Premier League against the Blades and stay in fifth spot.
Pepe impressed in the loss to Liverpool earlier in the season but does not seem to fit Emery’s formula at the Emirates.
Last season with Lille he was lethal as the French side loved to play on the counter attack where he was able to use his pace.
Emery prefers Arsenal to keep possession and have the ball and this does not seem to suit his style.
But speaking after the loss at Sheffield United, Emery claims the 24-year-old is gradually improving.
“Little by little he is getting better and improving,” said the Spaniard.
“He had a few shots that were getting closer and he is growing in confidence.”
Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has backed Pepe to succeed in the Premier League.
But he says his massive price-tag could be weighing on his shoulders.
“I think the big price tag doesn’t help,” Evra told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football ahead of the game.
“It puts on pressure and some fans don’t understand. It doesn’t guarantee you 30 goals in the first season.
“Aubameyang was in a different situation. He had played for many years, scoring many goals for many years.
“You have to give time to Pepe. I believe in this player.
“I think he just needs to realise the Premier League is completely different to the Premier League. You should be stronger.”