Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe has admitted that he is not happy with his super-sub role at the club and asserted that he is looking for more playing time as a started. The 25-year-old signed for the club last summer for a club record £72 million but has struggled to make an impact since his move.
Despite signing for a club-record £72 million last summer, Nicolas Pepe has struggled to impose himself with the Ivorian finishing his debut season with just eight goals in all competitions. That saw the 25-year-old in and out of the Arsenal team since signing for the club with the former LOSC Lille star playing in all but one game so far this season. However, despite that, all but one of Pepe’s appearances in the Premier League have been off the bench.
That hasn’t been the case in the Europa League with the Ivorian contributing to four goals in three appearances for the club. It has many fans and critics alike concerned about Pepe’s playing time with the forward himself also admitting as much. In a recent interview, Pepe revealed that he wants more game time at Arsenal than he is currently getting as it would help him “find a smile again.” The forward further added that playing as a super-sub is not what he wants but it is “up to” him to show Mikel Arteta that he deserves more.
“My goal is to play more, to have a little more playing time. A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again. He [Mikel 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,” Pepe told Canal+.
“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.”