Nicolas Pepe, an Arsenal forward, is hopeful about becoming a part of the Gunners’ squad for the 2023-24 season after revealing why Mikel Arteta benched him last season.

He also stated that allegations that he does not get along with manager Mikel Arteta are incorrect.

Pepe joined Arsenal in August 2019 for a club-record fee of £72 million from LOSC Lille Metropole.

Under Arteta, the Ivorian went on to score 23 goals and make 16 assists in 93 games.

In the 2021-22 season, his playing time in the Premier League plummeted dramatically to only 681 minutes, indicating that he was no longer a regular starter for the North London club.

The winger was loaned to OGC Nice last year with a purchase option, which the French club will not exercise.

Now he’s back at Emirates Stadium, speaking to a YouTube video called Colinterview.

“People say he [Arteta] identified me as a player who wasn’t up to par in his team, in his philosophy.”

“It’s entirely false. He had [Manchester] City’s philosophy when he arrived. He had a team full of quality players and backups in every position.

“When he spoke to me, he said he relied on me, that he wanted me to do this or that, and you must concentrate on that.” He helped me in every way.

“He had a lot of faith in me.” He said I had amazing potential, therefore we need to tap into that.”

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