Arsenal interim manager Freddie Ljungberg has revealed his intention to sit down with Nicolas Pepe for a pep talk, amid a difficult start to life in English football.
The Ivory Coast international has shown flashes of his ability, but ultimately he has not convinced the masses so far.
The star has scored three goals for the Gunners, but the 24-year-old is yet to notch from open play.
For Ljungberg’s first game against Norwich City, he was left on the substitutes’ bench with youngster Bukayo Saka being brought on ahead of him for the closing stages.
When asked about the move, Ljungberg suggested that Pepe’s showings in training haven’t quite been up to scratch.
And now, the Swede has said he will speak with Pepe about how things are going.
He said (Sky Sports): “Nico is someone who is a very, very good player. But sometimes when you come from a different league it takes time to adapt. Off the pitch and on the pitch.
“But Nico is someone I plan on talking to. We are going to have a little chat about things, how he feels because he is an important football player. But apart from that, that stays with me.”
TBR’s view – Pepe needs TLC
It has seemed as though Pepe has been slightly short of confidence so far.
Perhaps he is feeling the weight of his £72 million price tag (BBC Sport).
It will be important for Ljungberg to express how key he can be for the Gunners, but he also needs to see some fight from the new signing.
Perhaps the pair will forge a good understanding with one another, especially since Ljungberg used to play Pepe’s position of right-wing.