Nicolas Pepe admits he has struggled to adapt at Arsenal

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Nicolas Pepe has admitted that he has struggled to adapt to the Premier League since moving to Arsenal over the summer.

Having scored 22 goals for Lille in Ligue 1 last season, Pepe moved to North London for £72m, making him the club’s most expensive ever signing.

However, the Ivorian has failed to exert an impact at the Emirates, scoring just one goal from open play in 14 league appearances.

Reflecting on his first few months as an Arsenal player, Pepe told the Evening Standard: “Obviously it has been a little bit difficult to adapt, not only to a new league but to a new country and there is also the language barrier – which can sometimes get in the way of me speaking with my team-mates.

“But I am aiming to improve myself every single day and some aspects I am familiar with. For example, the weather is quite similar to Lille. So not everything is different.

“I tried to not put too much pressure on myself and I am trying to get rid of the pressure around me, which is also why I live with my parents. So in a way it is quite nice that I get to go home and sort of switch off from the outside world and football and spend time with my family. That does help in terms of not feeling too much pressure.”

Questions over Pepe rose when interim boss Freddie Ljungberg failed to include him in the starting XI for Arsenal’s first pair of league games since Unai Emery’s departure.

Despite scoring a penalty against Aston Villa, Pepe’s first goal from open play was an impressive curling finish during Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Ham United on Monday.

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