Transfer: Why Mikel Arteta sent me out of his squad – Arsenal star opens up
Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe is optimistic about being part of the Gunners’ squad for the 2023–24 season as he reveals why Mikel Arteta sent him out of the team last term.
He also insisted that claims that he does not have a good relationship with manager Mikel Arteta are false.
Pepe joined the Gunners for a club-record fee of £72 million from LOSC Lille Metropole in August 2019.
The Ivorian went on to score 23 goals and provide 16 assists in 93 games under Arteta.
In the 2021–22 season, his playing time dropped drastically to only 681 minutes in the Premier League, and it became clear that he wasn’t a regular starter for the North London side.
The winger was sent on loan to OGC Nice last year with an option to buy, but the French club will not trigger it.
Now he is back at the Emirates Stadium, and speaking to a YouTube channel, Colinterview, the African said, “People say that he [Arteta] identified me as a player that wasn’t up to the level in his team, in his philosophy.
“It’s completely false. When he arrived, he had Manchester City’s philosophy. He had a squad that was filled with quality players and backups in every position.
“When he spoke to me, he said he counted on me; he wanted me to do this or that, and you have to focus on that. He improved me in every way.
“He really believed in me. He said I had incredible potential, so we need to extract that potential.”
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