Nicolas Pepe sent "lazy" warning as Arteta recalls Arsenal star for Newcastle

Nicolas Pepe’s former Lille teammate has warned him that he “cannot have one lazy day” if he is to turn his Arsenal career around.

After signing from Lille for £72million back in 2019, Pepe was expected to be the main man at The Emirates, but has lacked consistency in his first 18 months in England.

Despite coming in for some criticism from Gunners fans, the 25-year-old had 18 goal contributions in his maiden season, with eight already this time around.

Pepe has struggled to hold down a regular starting berth, with the emergence of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli likely to see his opportunities become even more limited.

He also incurred the wrath of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta earlier this season, when he was sent off during the 0-0 draw with Leeds United.

And former Chelsea striker Loic Remy, who played alongside the winger in his final season in French football, has told him he needs to be at his best – at all times – to make the grade in north London.

"He was flying in Lille and he was the best player in the team," Remy told Goal. "Then, when you get to the next step, the expectation is really high.

“You cannot have one day of being lazy or late. The intensity in big clubs is like that.

"You can’t complain and there’s not much time to adapt. You can't get away with mistakes anymore like you can at smaller clubs. There are always players waiting on the bench to take your spot.

"They will be training their hardest to replace you and that’s the biggest difference between big clubs and a smaller club.

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"For him, the whole team are having a difficult season. Arsenal is Arsenal, so I think they will get back to having good results even if there are no easy games in the Premier League."

Mikel Arteta has brought the Ivorian back into his line-up for the FA Cup third round tie against Newcastle United at the Emirates.

He comes back into the XI after being an unused substitute in Arsenal’s last two Premier League games, with the Gunners finally returning to form over the festive period.

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