Unai Emery confirms new Arsenal signing is ready to start against Liverpool

By on August 22, 2019

nicolas pepe arsenal

Unai Emery has confirmed Arsenal’s club record signing Nicolas Pepe is ready to make his full debut against Liverpool on Saturday evening.

Pepe was one of the hottest properties in the summer transfer market after enjoying a sensational campaign with Lille last season that saw him provide an impressive 22 goals and 12 assists in all competitions.

Arsenal managed to fend off interest from several rival clubs to snap-up the 24-year-old in a £72m deal earlier this month but Emery has given his big-money signing time to settle in England before throwing him into the deep end.

Pepe made a brief cameo appearance off the bench during Arsenal’s opening weekend win over Newcastle United before playing 45 minutes against Burnley last Saturday having replaced Reiss Nelson at half-time.

However, Emery has now suggested the Ivory Coast international is ready to play ‘more minutes’ and make his full debut when Arsenal head to Anfield to take on European Champions Liverpool on Saturday evening.

When asked if Pepe was ready to start, Emery is quoted by Football London as saying:

“The most important thing is to help him and his family feel comfortable. He is now three weeks working with us.”

“Progressively he’s feeling better, getting better individual performances. He is ready to have more minutes.”

So it looks like Pepe could be in-line to start at Anfield and Emery also told reporters that he will make a late decision over whether to include Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in the squad to face Liverpool.

Ozil wasn’t deemed fit enough to take on Burnley last week while Xhaka missed that game due to a back problem but the duo have been in full training this week so it was assumed they were in contention.

However, Arsenal boss Emery says he will assess the pair at training on Friday before making a final decision over their involvement against Liverpool this weekend.


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