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Arsenal interim boss Ljungberg plans Pepe pep talk

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By Reuters
Arsenal interim boss Ljungberg plans Pepe pep talk
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Norwich City v Arsenal - Carrow Road, Norwich, Britain - December 1, 2019 Arsenal interim manager Freddie Ljungberg before the match REUTERS/Chris Radburn   -   Copyright  Chris Radburn(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Arsenal’s interim coach Freddie Ljungberg says he will have a chat with Nicolas Pepe to help the Ivorian forward feel more settled after his club record move from Lille.

Pepe arrived at the Emirates Stadium for a reported 72 million pounds in August but has scored just once in 12 Premier League games and fell out of favour under former boss Unai Emery.

There were flashes of Pepe’s ability as his two late free kicks helped Arsenal pull off a 3-2 win over Vitoria in the Europa League in October but the 24-year-old has since failed to cement his first-team position.

“We are going to have a little chat about things, how he feels because he is an important football player. But apart from that, that stays with me,” said Ljungberg.

Asked if the player was low on confidence, Ljungberg added: “No… I just think it’s a new country and a new way of playing. Sometimes we come from a different league and it takes time to adapt, off the pitch and on the pitch.”

Arsenal, who have gone eight games without a win in all competitions, host Brighton & Hove Albion in the league later on Thursday.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)