Arsenal’s season so far has been inconsistent to say the least, with the Gunners going from rock bottom of the Premier League to fourth in a matter of weeks, before slowly falling back down the table once more.
After starting the campaign with three straight defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City, Mikel Arteta’s side propped up the table at the start of September.
However, a run of eight games without defeat lifted them as high as fourth at one point, and things were looking up for the Spaniard with a number of his young stars impressing.
In the past month, however, the Gunners have suffered three straight away defeats in the league, and now find themselves back down in seventh, four points behind the Champions League places.
Now, Arteta is facing another dilemma, with the club’s record signing Nicolas Pepe reportedly unhappy at the club, according to Football London.
The Ivorian has been a substitute for each of the club’s last seven league games, with his only playing time during that period a five-minute cameo against Leicester City in October.
Now, the winger is reportedly growing increasingly frustrated at his lack of playing time and is threatening to push for a move elsewhere if his situation doesn’t change.
The Ivory Coast international appeared visibly frustrated by Arteta’s decision to substitute Eddie Nketiah on ahead of him during Monday’s defeat to Everton, and his dismay was somewhat justified by the young striker’s shocking late miss.
The report suggests that the 26-year-old, who became the club’s record signing when he completed a £72 million move from Lille in the summer of 2019, will assess his situation next month when the window reopens.
While he would agree to a loan move, it is unlikely that many clubs would be able to afford his high wages, potentially making a move quite tricky.
Last term, the winger spoke of his frustration at finding himself on the bench, telling Canal+ his thoughts on the situation.
“My aim is to play more, to have more game time,” he said.
“A player who plays is a happy player. For me, I want to rediscover my smile.”
Despite his lack of game time of late, Pepe has still managed three assists and a goal in nine appearances across all competitions so far this term.
He also boasts a respectable record since moving to the capital, scoring 25 goals and registering 18 assists in 98 games for the club.