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Nicolas Pepe helping Mikel Arteta make “easy” team selection decision, warns Ray Parlour

Ray Parlour reckons Nicolas Pepe’s lack of consistency is making it “easy” for Mikel Arteta to leave him on Arsenal’s bench.

The Gunners’ record signing was an unused substitute in their 1-0 victory over Manchester United last weekend, their first away win against one of their ‘Big Six’ rivals in five years.

Pepe – who cost the north Londoners a whopping £72million – has only made one league start this season, with Arteta opting to hand him starting berths in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League.

The Ivorian winger turned in a mixed display in Arsenal’s 4-1 victory over FC Molde on Thursday night, ending the evening with a goal and an assist after a mistaken-ridden first half.

Nicolas Pepe turned in a mixed display in Arsenal’s Europa League victory over FC Molde on Thursday
(Image: GETTY)

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And the former Lille man has yet to convince Parlour he’s worthy of a permanent place in the starting XI.

“I think it was a game of two halves for Pepe,” the former Gunners midfielder said during an appearance on talkSPORT. “I thought first half he was pretty poor.

“He picked up second half, but you can’t do that (drift) when you are in big games you have to be effective for the 90 minutes. That’s what Mikel Arteta is saying.

“You’ve got to play your part throughout the game. I think Saka does that.

Ray Parlour reckons Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe is too inconsistent
(Image: GETTY)

If you look at the way he plays he’s always involved in the good parts of Arsenal’s game going forwards and defensively.

“Pepe’s just got to get that bit more consistency during the game because you can go missing.

“You can’t have missing players because against the big sides you have to have everyone on that pitch doing their work and being involved in a good team performance, that’s what he’s probably trying to say there against Pepe.

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