Pepe needs to adapt 'quickly', says Arsenal coach Emery

The Ivory Coast attacker is yet to make an impact on his new club and the Gunners boss wants him to step up soon

Arsenal’s club-record signing Nicolas Pepe needs to complete his adaptation to the Premier League ‘quickly, according to coach Unai Emery.

The 24-year-old, who moved to the Emirates from Lille in a record £72 million ($87m) deal, has made three starts in his six Gunners appearances so far but only has one assist to show for his performances.

Emery explained the Ivorian still needs time to adjust to the rigours of English football and called for him to step up during Sunday’s home game against Aston Villa.

“He needs more adaptation,” Emery said in his pre-match press conference.

“He is playing good but progressively we know there is going to be more performance in him to help us and I want to do now quickly the last step in the adaptation for us, for example, against Aston Villa.

‘We are working with him first for that adaptation.

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“After the training now we are watching individual videos with him, also to push him to achieve the details tactically we need for him because he is playing well but also we need in our organisation to be strong with every player to improve a lot.”

Pepe starred for Lille in Ligue 1 last season with his 22 goals putting him behind only Kylian Mbappe in the league’s golden boot – while he has chipped in with 11 assists.

The Gunners will be hoping for a better performance against Villa after letting slip a two-goal lead to draw at Watford in the previous league fixture.

Emery’s team currently sit in 10th position but could jump into the top four with a victory and if other results go their way.

Following the contest against Villa, Arsenal face three tough fixtures with a trip to Manchester United followed by matches against high-flying Bournemouth (home) and promoted surprise-packet Sheffield United (away).

It’s possible that full backs Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney could be available for the Gunners in the near future after making their return from injuries for the club’s under-23 side.

Tierney is still yet to make a senior appearance for the Gunners since he joined in £25 million ($30m) summer deal from Celtic because of a groin issue.

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