Mikel Arteta has called for greater ‘consistency’ from Nicolas Pepe as the club-record signing bids to regain his place in the Arsenal side.
Pepe has started just one of Arsenal‘s six Premier League fixtures so far this season after finding himself behind summer signing Willian in the pecking order at the Emirates, though the Ivorian stated his case for inclusion with a goal and assist in the club’s Europa League victory over Molde on Thursday night.
It continued the winger’s productive form in Europe with the 25-year-old having now provided four-goal contributions in three group stage fixtures, and Arteta has now discussed his demands for the player as he bids to force his way back into the club’s Premier League side.
“Consistency,” Arteta told his post-match press conference following Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Molde. “Throughout the game, throughout 90 minutes, every ball, in every action and every time he’s on the ball in the final third he [needs to] make a difference. And do it more and more and more.
“The final product has to be better, not just from him but if you want to become a top, top team and score many more goals, then it’s something we have to put higher demands on at the moment.
🗣"There's a lot of competition, I need to adapt and I need to use resources I have to develop"
Nicolas Pepe knows what he needs to do to force his way back into Arsenal's starting line-up pic.twitter.com/78PDOQLk2U
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 6, 2020
“Today he scored a really good goal and got an assist and he can do more. I think he’s on the right path.”
Arteta suggested that Willian’s more consistent end product has been a factor in his regular role ahead of Pepe so far this season, though has demanded more from all of his players in the final third as Arsenal bid to become a ‘top team’.
“I said to you that I am talking generally. It’s not just Willian or Nico, I think in general consistency-wise in the final third, with the quality that we have, we have to finish more things better. We can improve a lot.
“That goes for every player, if Nico scores three goals then his aim has to be to score 10. Willian the same, three assists? He needs 10.
“If we don’t have that mindset then we won’t become the top team that we want to be.”