Mikel Arteta Holds Talks With Nicolas Pepe as Arsenal Manager's Patience Begins to 'Wear Thin'

Nov 25, 2020, 11:15 AM GMT
Anthony Taylor, Nicolas Pepe
Arteta scheduled talks with Pepe for Tuesday | Pool/Getty Images

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta held a private meeting with Nicolas Pepe on Tuesday following his red card against Leeds, with the Spaniard beginning to run out of patience with the winger.

Pepe forced his side to play the majority of the second half with just ten men after he was sent off for head-butting Leeds' Ezgjan Alioski. After the game, Arteta described Pepe's actions as 'unacceptable', while the Ivory Coast international himself issued an apology for his role in the incident.

The Times now report that Arteta scheduled a meeting with Pepe for Tuesday to privately talk to him about his red card. This latest incident has only added to the concerns Arteta has about Pepe, specifically with regards to his lack of consistency and poor decision-making on the pitch.

While the player isn't expected to be fined by the Gunners, it is claimed that patience with him is 'wearing thin' about whether he will ever be able to eventually live up to his £72m price tag.

What will be even more concerning for Arteta is the number of disciplinary issues he is needing to deal with. The boss held a private meeting with Matteo Guendouzi to try and address his poor attitude last season, while he also sat down with Willian recently after he flew to Dubai without permission during the last international break.

The Times further add that it's unlikely Pepe will be loaned out in January, despite his poor form and confidence levels. But the north Londoners will be desperate to see him bounce back from his red card and begin to prove on a regular basis why the club forked out so much money on him.

Sunday's clash with Leeds was an opportunity for Pepe to impress and nail down a spot in the starting lineup - but he failed to take it. While the former Lille man has made 13 appearances so far this term in all competitions, he has started just two of Arsenal's nine Premier League matches.

But with Pepe travelling with the Gunners for their Europa League clash against Molde on Thursday, he could be handed an opportunity to immediately go some way to making up for his red card with a start.