UNAI EMERY is urging Nicolas Pepe to relish the pressure of being Arsenal’s record signing following the forward’s underwhelming start to life in England.
Pepe, 24, has struggled to live up to his £72million price tag since his deadline day move from Lille.
But Emery is certain that, just like former Gunners idols Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Pepe will be a sensation when he eventually comes to terms with the physical demands of the Premier League.
Pepe scored 23 goals and contributed 12 assists for Lille last season but has just a solitary penalty to show for his eight Arsenal appearances so far.
Yet while he is likely to be taken out of the firing line for tonight’s Europa League clash with Standard Liege, the Ivorian international remains central to Emery’s long-term plans.
Emery claimed: “Pepe is an amazing player and I am sure that he is going to have a big career here, but he needs time.
“For a lot of great Arsenal players, the first month here was not easy, even the first year.
“Every player needs time to adapt when they arrive in England but the process with Pepe is going in the direction we expected.
“He still needs to get his confidence and to understand better with the other players. But his performances are getting better step by step.