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Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe has admitted to feeling “frustrated” at his lack of game time under Mikel Arteta.
The Ivorian came off the bench in the Gunners’ surprise 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa for he last 25 minutes.
While regularly starting in the Europa League and Carabao Cup, he has only made the XI once for the north London side in the Premier League.
And the man who cost Arsenal £72m in 2019 has admitted his anger towards the situation.
Speaking to Canal Plus , the forward said: “My goal is to play more. 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 [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.”
When asked about Arteta directly, though, the 25-year-old explained the challenge he is facing.
“The coach makes his choices,” Pepe added. “It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role.”
Pepe has enjoyed scoring form this season, finding the net three times while getting two assists.
One of his goals came in the latest 4-1 Europa League win over Molde while also scoring against Dundalk.
And the win over the Irish side saw Arteta send the winger a message.
The boss said: "I think he's so willing to do well and show everybody that he's a player who can make the difference every week.
"It's about finding the consistency on many occasions when he has to make decisions on the pitch. It's nothing to do with his attitude. He's a player who takes risks.
"Sometimes it's the simple things, the deliveries and to keep evolving that phase of player. He needs to be more consistent and hopefully he'll be doing that more efficiently.
"Knowing Nico I don't think it's [the price tag] is something that affects him too much. He has to try better and we're trying to help him."
Pepe is not the only one feeling frustrated at Arteta, though, as fans were left fuming with his decision for the Aston Villa game.
- Arsenal FC
- Mikel Arteta
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