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Nicolas Pepe responds to Mikel Arteta comments by turning heads in Arsenal training

Mirror logo Mirror 13/01/2021 Rich Jones

Nicolas Pepe has issued a reminder of his talent after manager Mikel Arteta declared they needed to give him help.

The club-record signing has played only 453 minutes of Premier League action across 11 appearances and struggled in the FA Cup against Newcastle at the weekend.

But he turned heads in training ahead of their clash with Crystal Palace on Thursday night with a stunning solo goal.

He turned Willian and Joe Willock inside out with a fine bit of skill before slotting into the far corner from inside the box.

And the eye-catching moment came after Arteta issued a defence of Pepe and this week insisted they need to do more to help him find his grove.

a group of people playing football on a field: Nicolas Pepe turned heads as he made a goal out of nothing in Arsenal training © YouTube/Arsenal Nicolas Pepe turned heads as he made a goal out of nothing in Arsenal training

Arteta said: ”I think it is hard to make judgement on some players that haven't played many minutes over the last two or three weeks and to throw them in and expect them to be the best player on the pitch.

"I don't think it happens and Nico tried. He tried all the game and had some really good moments - moments where he could have scored two or three goals.

a group of young men playing a game of football: Pepe showcased his skill to turn two players inside out © YouTube/Arsenal Pepe showcased his skill to turn two players inside out a group of people playing a game of football: Pepe slotted into the bottom corner with a precise finish © YouTube/Arsenal Pepe slotted into the bottom corner with a precise finish

"In a normal circumstance and with his ability in those positions, he puts the ball in the back of the net. He didn't do it but I think his contribution overall was good."

Former manager Unai Emery has again admitted he wanted to to sign Wilfried Zaha instead of Pepe back in 2019.

But he has backed him to become a top player despite his shaky start to life with Arsenal.

"I was thinking at this time that the adaption of Zaha was probably easier and faster than Pepe, but Pepe is a very good player and I think he’s going to progress," Emery told football.london .

"He’s now almost two years in London and he’s going to progress because he’s a very good player."

Can Nicolas Pepe turn things around at Arsenal? Have your say here.

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