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Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe 'needed time to adapt' - Unai Emery

14:31 GMT+3 11/02/2020
Nicolas Pepe Arsenal 2019-20
The former Gunners boss has opened up about some of the struggles he faced, including having to make the record-signing Ivorian gel with his teammates

Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed Nicolas Pepe "needed time to adapt" after his big-money move from Lille last summer. 

The Ivory Coast international signed for a club-record £72 million, but struggled to make an instant impact which affected the club's form and culminated in the sacking of Emery. 

Things have changed a bit under new boss Mikel Arteta, with Pepe now playing a more prominent role. 

"We needed time to succeed with our transition to a new Arsenal which is what I wanted," he told France Football as per Get Football News France.

"For example, Nicolas Pepe, who was the club’s choice, clearly needed time to adapt.

"I obviously am partly responsible, but you see that the team has not exactly done better since I left."

Pepe has played 27 times in all competitions this season, scoring five goals and providing four assists.

He was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s disappointing goalless draw at Burnley last time out.