Nicolas Pepe says he 'must do more' to justify £72m Arsenal move

‘I must do more’: Nicolas Pepe admits he needs to improve in front of goal to justify his record £72m move and believes Arsenal can still finish in the top four

  • The 24-year-old has scored three and assisted three in 19 league appearances
  • The forward says he is hoping for a better return in the second half of the season
  • He also revealed new boss Mikel Arteta is demanding more from him 

Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe admits he ‘must do more’ following his mixed return in front of goal this season.

The Ivory Coast international has scored three and registered three assists in 19 league games since his club record £72million move from Lille.

And the forward revealed new boss Mikel Arteta has demanded more from him, particularly with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suspended for their next three games.

Nicolas Pepe admits he ‘must do more’ at Arsenal following his record-breaking £72m move

Discussing his career so far at the Emirates, Pepe told Metro: ‘I’ve done OK, but I can certainly do more. 

‘In fact, I must do more, and that is certainly something I will be looking to improve on during the second half of the season.’

Despite a difficult season, Pepe believes Arsenal can still achieve a top-four finish. 

The 24-year-old admitted his hardest time in north London was when the Gunners were struggling to win a game under Unai Emery. 

But the 3-1 victory over West Ham on December 10 was an important moment for the team under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.

The forward revealed Mikel Arteta has stressed the importance of Arsenal defending as a team

Arteta’s biggest moment came on New Year’s Day as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0.

And Pepe revealed the Spaniard is already making big changes at the club.

He said: ‘The manager has stressed the importance of defending well as a team, and making interceptions when our opponents are trying to attack.

‘In terms of working on my own game, he wants me to get into one-on-one situations, get crosses in, score goals and get assists, of course.’

Arsenal are sitting in tenth in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s home match against sixth-placed Sheffield United.

The Ivory Coast international missed a golden chance at Sheffield United earlier in the season

The Blades stunned the Gunners with a 1-0 win in the reverse match in October, in one of the results which sent Emery packing.

Pepe missed a golden chance to open the scoring but says he has put it to the back of his mind.

He is now focused on the ‘not impossible’ task of pushing Arsenal towards a Champions League spot this season, saying a win against a team such as Sheffield United would show progress under the new regime.

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