Unai Emery hints at Nicolas Pepe's role against Liverpool
Unai Emery suggested that Nicolas Pepe could have a greater role to play against Liverpool on Saturday than in either of his appearances for the Gunners so far.
Summer signing Pepe came off the bench in the Gunners' 1-0 win at Newcastle on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, and he followed that up by coming at half-time in home victory over Burnley last weekend.
Emery hinted that the club record £72million arrival from Lille could be ready to start after that appearance, and he added fuel to that particular fire in Thursday's press conference ahead of the Anfield trip.
"The most important thing is, like a person, to help him and his family to feel comfortable here," said Emery when discussing Pepe's settling-in process.
"Now he is three weeks into working here with us. He didn't do the pre-season here but he’s progressively feeling better.
"For example, in the first match, he played 15 minutes in Newcastle, then he played 45 minutes against Burnley. I think his individual performances are progressively getting better.
"For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes. I am going to decide tomorrow, but really his progress has been positive and has been good for the team and for him.
"The most important piece of the adaptation is to help him to feel easy and be comfortable with us."
The Gunners have lost on their last three trips to Anfield, conceding 12 goals in the process.
And Emery says that this clash between the only two sides in the Premier League to have won both of their games thus far will provide an indicator as to where his sit are at the moment.
"It’s a big stadium with a big atmosphere and I want to play every match in our amazing stadium with our amazing supporters in our home," he said.
"But we need to play away and face big teams with big supporters. I think the motivation for us is very big on Saturday. We are going to have some Arsenal supporters helping us and it’s a big challenge.
"It’s going to be a different game to Burnley because the team is different. They are going to demand different tactical issues, but we want to play and show how we are now. It’s a big test to show their capacity and our capacity."
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