Nicolas Pepe’s agent says the player is aware of the challenge facing him now, but he remains determined to succeed at Arsenal.

Arsenal's French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (L) is shown a red card by atch Referee Anthony Taylor (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (L) is shown a red card by match Referee Anthony Taylor (R) on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

Nicolas Pepe’s transfer to Arsenal is back in the headlines again after he picked up a red card in the team’s draw with Leeds United on Sunday.

It was a moment of madness from the winger, as he took the bait Ezgjan Alioski was offering to headbutt the 28-year-old. ‘Headbutt’ is a rather strong term in this case, as it was really more of a head bump, but that sort of thing is always enough to earn a red card.

The incident only added to the narrative around Pepe at the moment. Often sitting on the bench behind Willian in the starting lineup, some are starting to ask what the future holds for the 25-year-old.

Samir Khiat, Pepe’s agent, insists that these are the kinds of problems you know you’ll face playing for a big club, and the player is still determined to succeed.

“With all my respect for Lille LOSC, Pepe is playing today for a club with a standing above Lille,” Khiat said. “When you play for a club like Arsenal, you know that you will face competition for your spot, that every year the club will try to improve the squad.

“It’s part of normal life for a club like Arsenal, this situation doesn’t affect him. It’s the complete opposite, it makes him stronger and he wants to work twice more to succeed and to establish himself.”

There’s a good chance Pepe ends up starting on Thursday, as his three-match ban in the Premier League effectively forces him into the Europa League games instead. Let’s hope he can begin his road to redemption with Mikel Arteta by helping the team to a win.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.