Needing to strengthen his squad in the summer to try and compete for a Champions League spot, Unai Emery bolstered his attack with two players who came in with very different expectations.
One was Nicolas Pépé, for whom the Gunners paid Lille €80m, but the Ivory Coast international, who had a great season in France during the 2018-19 campaign, has struggled to adapt to Premier League football so far.
Ouest-France, managing to grab Robert Pirès for an interview on Thursday, asked the former winger about the forward’s struggles, but he’s not really worried about it.
He said: “It’s not necessarily complicated, it’s just long. I know that situation and I’ve gone through it. People are impatient. They want the performance to be quick, especially when there’s a change like this one. The Premier League is very complicated, every weekend is a fight, especially when you play against so-called weak teams”.
On the other side of the coin, Gabriel Martinelli, who arrived from Ituano in the Brazilian third-tier, has taken to life at Arsenal like a duck to water, impressing with his pace and ability to find the back of the net so far this season.
The 18-year-old, who cost the Premier League club £6m, has scored 10 goals and four assists, which is a better stat line than Pépé’s six goals and six assists.
For Pirès, the Brazilian has a bright future ahead of him.
He explained: “He’s the revelation. I think he’ll confirm this and will be a very important player for the club. He’s not going anywhere (laughs). He’s part of the players who have a real potential, on who we will lean for years to come. It’s important to have players like him”.