Nicolas Pepe expecting big things from Arsenal


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Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe believes his team will improve on last season’s fifth-placed finish this time around.

The Ivory Coast international joined the Gunners for a club-record fee on August 1, with Lille receiving £72million for his services. Pepe has endured a slow start to life at the club, starting both games against Newcastle and Burnley on the bench.

He has been given game time by coach Unai Emery in both, and says he is ready for the challenge of playing in the Premier League. The 24-year-old has been impressed by the club’s start to the season and has backed his side to qualify for the Champions League.

He told the club’s official website: “I chose to come here because it’s a club with a lot of ambition. They have the dream of coming back to the Champions League, and I’m also an ambitious person, so the choice was very logical.

“I’m attracted to the Premier League because it is an extremely intense championship and the best league in the world. The idea is to win the Europa League, and that is a goal of ours. It’s a European event, and our goal is to do better than last season. I believe we will.”

Arsenal face their toughest game of the season so far when they travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool this weekend. Emery’s side then take on rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium, and two positive results will give the whole club a huge lift.

Arsenal are currently 1.95 to finish in the top four, but two wins should see their price drop in the race to reach for the Champions League spots.

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