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Arsenal boss Arteta admits Pepe struggling with massive price-tag

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admits Nicolas Pepe is struggling with his massive summer price-tag.

Previous Gunners boss Unai Emery approved the £72million purchase of Pepe from Lille last summer, but the Ivory Coast international has so far scored just three goals in 21 Premier League appearances for the Gunners.

“The price that we paid for him puts him in a difficult position straight away because he's going to be compared to players of that calibre," Arteta said on Friday.

“He was in France and was one of the biggest stars in the league. He had an incredible year.

“Now he comes here and a lot of people didn't even know him and you paid that price tag.

“So for him to put his brain into this picture and solve all this is not easy. And he's a really young player."

Despite his reservations, Arteta remains convinced that Pepe will prove a success.

“It's not easy to adapt to this league but he's putting in the effort and he's willing to do it," the Arsenal boss continued. “And it will come out.

“First of all he needs the right structure behind him to be able to provide the moments of quality and winning games, whether it's assists, goals, dribbles or whatever it is.

“Afterwards he needs to have a much clearer picture of the things that are happening on the pitch, why they are happening and how he can solve them. I think he's in the process of doing that.

“I hope we can see it from now to the end of the season."

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Paul Vegas

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