Arsenal manager Unai Emery has backed Nicolas Pepe to improve and be a major success at the club, despite his underwhelming start in north London.
The £72m club-record signing has scored just once for the Gunners, after designated penalty taker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang handed duties over during the recent 3-2 win over Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.
Nevertheless, Emery – speaking to Sky Sports – revealed his confidence that the Ivorian will fulfil his potential and deliver the goods for Arsenal.
“Pepe is an amazing player. I am sure he is going to have a big career here,” Emery began. “He needs time but also a lot of players when they came here, the first month, the first year is not easy for them. But I am going to work with him to make that adaption easier.”
Pepe scored 22 goals in Ligue 1 last season – nine of which were penalties – in what was a breakthrough campaign for the winger. However, with a large outlay comes greater pressure, which can be difficult for some players, especially when adapting to a new league and new surroundings.
But Emery was keen to diffuse the notion that price should determine the expectations placed on Pepe’s shoulders, retorting: “They are human, every player. When they are here working, playing, with us, we don’t want and it is not relevant for us to speak about the money.
“Not for him, not for another, young player or experienced players. The salaries are not important for me. They are players, they are human and they play not thinking about that.
“I am not thinking about my salary when I am the coach. I am not thinking the player are thinking about his salary or how [much] one club paid in his everyday training and when he plays.”
Source : 90min