Arsenal news: Unai Emery drops hint Nicolas Pepe will start on bench vs Leicester | Football | Sport
The Ivory Coast international missed out on a start during last week’s draw with Wolves in the Premier League, and his Spanish boss has hinted that he will be back on the bench on Saturday.
“He just needs time, and to be demanding of himself,” Emery told Sky Sports.
“We are with him, working individually with him and showing him videos of where he can improve.
“The intensity of the game and the opponents in England demands a lot of you.
“He has to adapt to that, and we have to help him so that he can keep taking steps forward.
“His process of adapting to the team is positive, but a little slower than what we wanted.
“We have to be patient as well as demanding and what’s more, we have to ensure that he takes responsibility himself.”
The former Paris Saint-Germain boss has admitted that he had been expecting a faster start from his £72million winger, despite his brace in their home clash against Vitoria last month.
“He is not quite at the level yet to be able to play in every game,” he continued.
“I believe, and I have always believed, that he needs to play in order to reach that level, but obviously there are also games when other players deserve to play.
“I use the players who I think are going to help us most in each moment.
“But we bought Pepe knowing that the first year would be difficult, that it would be a year of adaptation.
“We want that to happen as quickly as possible, but we are seeing that we have to have patience.”
Mesut Ozil is set to feature again after impressing since returning to the starting XI, and the Gunners will need all the help they can get against Brendan Rodgers’ in-form Foxes.