NICOLAS PEPE is ready to chat with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang about who takes free-kicks this season – despite admitting he's still way short of being at his best.
The £72million winger came off the subs’ bench to score two screaming free-kicks and help Arsenal overcome Vitoria Guimaraes 3-2 in the Europa League.
4 Nicolas Pepe netted twice for Arsenal after coming off the bench against VitoriaCredit: EPA
Now the club’s record signing is ready for a long discussion with close pal Aubameyang over who will be on set-piece duties in future.
Prior to last night’s game, Pepe had scored just one goal for Arsenal, which came after Aubameyang generously allowed him to take a penalty against Aston Villa last month.
He said: “Scoring twice is great for my confidence but Auba has also scored a free-kick this season so now we will talk to decide who will take them when we are both playing.
“He let me take that penalty and as soon as I arrived at Arsenal he helped me to settle in along with Alex Lacazette and Matteo Guendouzi.
“Myself, Auba and Laca have played very little together so far, maybe around just 30 minutes.
“But now Laca is back from injury and I hope we will play more together because we get on very well.
“We are all French so we understand each other but it’s important for me to learn English so I can begin to communicate with everyone.
@Aubameyang7 and @SokratisPapa5 reaction to Pepes goal 😍😍 #arsenal pic.twitter.com/BX0QizlNY7
— shah (@shah486) October 24, 2019
4 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also netted a free-kick this season – the winner against Aston Villa last monthCredit: Getty – Contributor
4 Gunners winger Pepe has stated that he is still adapting to the Premier LeagueCredit: Reuters
“I knew that coming to England would be harder for me than to be playing in the French League because the intensity of the football is totally different here.
“I am not yet at my best physically because I was at the African Cup of Nations in the summer and didn’t have a proper pre-season like the other players.
“I am working hard to be physically stronger and I have had to adapt quickly because the expectations were so high when I signed for Arsenal.
“Unfortunately it’s not what I did at the beginning but I have always had the trust of the manager and all the players have supported me.
“The key to adapting is having good people around you and I am fortunate to have my family here with me.
“It was always going to be difficult for me to come here into the unknown with a different language, so I rely a lot on my family.
“They have been very good for me mentally, especially when things were not going so well.
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“Scoring these two goals will be good for me and for the team, but the most important thing is that we had a win to show for our efforts at the end.
“It shows our character and our mental strength that we were able to come from behind and win the game like we did against Aston Villa last month.
“Now we can focus on Sunday’s game with Crystal Palace with a clear mind.”
4 Ivory Coast international Pepe will be hoping to get on the score sheet against Crystal Palace on SundayCredit: Reuters