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Nicolas Pepe is making it easy for Mikel Arteta to drop him, claims Ray Parlour

Nicolas Pepe has started just one Premier League game so far this season for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Ray Parlour believes Nicolas Pepe’s habit of disappearing in games is providing Mikel Arteta with an easy excuse to leave him out of his Premier League starting XI.

The Ivory Coast international has shown only flashes of the ability which persuaded Arsenal to make the talented winger their record signing at a cost of £72million in the summer of 2019.

Pepe has struggled to fully convince Mikel Arteta of his worth and has made just one start in the Premier League so far this season. The former Lille star was an unused substitute during last weekend’s landmark win at Old Trafford and subsequently delivered another mixed performance during Thursday’s 4-1 win over Molde.

Following an error-strewn first-half display, Pepe improved after the break scoring and assisting, replicating his output against Dundalk a week previously, but Parlour feels he needs to follow the example of team-mate Bukayo Saka if he is to force his way into contention to start regularly in the Premier League.

Parlour told talkSPORT: ‘I think it was a game of two halves for Pepe (against…