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Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger has warned Nicolas Pepe that he must expect to fight for his place in the side after a recent run of bad form.
After his gargantuan £72m transfer from Lille in the summer, the Gunners’ record signing has not had the explosive start that many predicted.
The Ivorian, who has won 11 caps for his country, has only scored one goal in his first eight Premier League outings and it is surely only a matter of time until his hefty price tag starts to sit firmly on the 24-year-old’s shoulders.
Despite this, Arsenal have won their last five games out of six in all competitions and sit third in the Premier League, one point behind last season’s champions Manchester City.
With youngsters such as Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka making their mark in their respective attacking roles, Wenger believes that Pepe will come under pressure very quickly for his position in Unai Emery’s side.
He told Omnisport (via Yahoo Sports): “I like the player and I thought it was a good decision [to sign him].
“He’s not yet completely adapted and you have to give him some time. He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment.
“I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment. On the other hand, I must say we have good young players who can play on the flanks, [and] that he will have a fight to keep his position.”