Former Arsenal star Robert Pires has encouraged fans to be patient with club-record signing Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe joined the Gunners in a £72m deal back in August and has since featured in each of the north London side's first five Premier League games of the season. In this time, the Ivorian has failed to open his goalscoring account and has managed to register a solitary assist.
The 24-year-old made a staggering 33 goal contributions in 38 Ligue 1 appearances last term for LOSC Lille, but has yet to open his account for Unai Emery's men. However, Pires has urged fans to keep faith with him and patiently wait for him to settle in properly.
“With Lille, he was fantastic. Last season he was one of the best players, he scored 21 or 22 goals,” he told Reuters.
“He’s a great player...Now he’s playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and he needs to adapt."
The Frenchman expanded upon the difficulties and time needed in order to properly settle into the English league. He continued: "It’s so difficult, very tough. So I want to say to the fans you need to be patient with Pepe.”
The winger came on to feature against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday evening - a match which the Gunners comfortably won 3-0 thanks to goals from Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It has become well known that players often require time to adjust to the high demands of the Premier League, and although Pepe's performances haven't been as impressive as fans would have hoped for, Pires believes he just needs time before he finds his feet.