Nicolas Pepe has admitted that his start with Arsenal hasn’t been easy so far, but he believes it won’t be long until he adapts.
Pepe had one of the poorer performances of his Arsenal spell so far against Manchester United on Monday. His September wasn’t entirely negative, with a goal and two assists in five games, but it certainly ended on a low point at Old Trafford.
Speaking after the game to French outlet RMC, Pepe accepted that he hasn’t played at his best so far with Arsenal. He knows he needs to rebuild his confidence in a new country and a new league, but he thinks he has the capability to do so soon.
“My start at Arsenal? It has not been easy, I have to tell the truth,” Pepe admitted. “My stats have not been good enough or my usual performances, it is not the same as in Lille or at the Liverpool game at the beginning of the season.
“I need to build confidence again. I’m not very worried, people may be worried about the statistics but I’m not worried. I have to keep working because the level is different, so is the language, it’s a new league for me, I have to adapt quickly but it will not be long.”
The reaction to Pepe’s bad games has certainly been out of proportion so far. He’s Arsenal’s top Premier League chance creator with 11 key passes, four ahead of the nearest competitor, whilst he’s also completed more than twice as many dribbles as anyone else in the squad.
The raw qualities are there, and if his teammates had scored more than one of those 11 chances he’d have more than one league assist to show for his time so far.
All the same, Pepe knows he hasn’t shown close to his best football, and to hear him admit that and insist he’s working towards it is encouraging.