Mikel Arteta backs Arsenal star to thrive in the coming years


Mikel Arteta backs Arsenal star to thrive in the coming years

Mikel Arteta believes that club-record signing Nicolas Pepe will be at Arsenal for plenty of years, with the Spaniard claiming that he has seen "big developments" in his game.


Pepe joined last summer from Lille for a reported transfer fee of £72 million, yet the 25-year-old has struggled to nail down a spot in Arteta's starting line-up, despite showing flashes of brilliance.


Previously, Arteta had spoken about the necessary changes to his game that Pepe needs to make to improve and start more regularly.


This season, he has not started a Premier League game so far, with new signing Willian being preferred on the right wing.


However, Arteta has insisted that Pepe has shown signs of improvement and that he will be a key player in the Arsenal squad for plenty of years to come.


Arteta claimed that Pepe has "come a long way" and that with the massive transfer fee that Arsenal bought Pepe for, there was "obviously an extra pressure".


He added that "He is a really good character to have around and I'm really positive we are going to have him for many years. But he is a player who had to adapt, it is a different style and he has a really good attitude and we can see big developments in a lot of places in his game."


"He is very settled here, he is liked by the boys, he is a really good character to have around and I'm really positive we are going to have him for many years and that he can perform at a really high level consistently."


Arsenal's next fixtures are both against Liverpool, with trips to Anfield in the Premier League and in the fourth-round of the Carabao Cup on Monday and Thursday respectively.


It remains to be seen whether Arteta will choose Pepe ahead of Willian for either of the two fixtures, depending on how much Arteta values the Carabao Cup when compared to the league.