Freddie Ljungberg insists Nicolas Pepe “will come good” at Arsenal after his slow start to life at the Gunners.
Pepe has had an eventful past week, seeing red at Leeds for headbutting Ezgjan Alioski during the goalless draw last weekend.
But the Ivorian made amends somewhat with a man of the match showing during the 3-0 win over Molde in the Europa League on Thursday, getting on the scoresheet with an excellent finish.
Pepe has been criticised for not living up to his club record £72m price tag despite being given plenty of time to find his feet in the Premier League.
But former Gunners caretaker manager and club legend Ljungberg, who coached the winger in his first season, has urged fans to stick with him and give him more patience in order to realise his full potential.
“I think Nico will come good,” Ljungberg told The Athletic. “Nico wants to work. Every player makes mistakes. I got sent off at Spurs!
“Don’t slaughter them too much because it happens to all of us.
“The important thing is how they react afterwards and if he knuckles down, works even harder and still tries to prove himself. He’s not had the easiest time, there’s a lot of focus on him.
“I could say easy things like, ‘Yeah, he needs game time’. OK, but you have a lot of other players as well who need game time. That’s what is difficult.
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“When you come from the French league to the Premier League, you need a bit of adaptation.
“It’s totally different football and everything around football. So you need game time but you need results at the same time. It’s not an easy balance.”
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