MORNING, ARSENAL FANS
Arsenal and Nicolas Pepe can forget their Premier League headache tonight – by reaching the Europa League KO stage with two group games to spare.
Gunners’ boss Mikel Arteta has told £72million record buy Pepe to use the tie at Norwegian champions Molde to prove his worth following Sunday’s red-card headbutt shame against Leeds.
Arsenal are 12th in the Prem after four defeats and only nine goals from nine games.
But Arteta said: “The margins are minimal and teams are winning league games with one or two shots on target.
“Aspects of our play make me really enthusiastic and optimistic. When I see the young talent… it gets me really excited.
“So when you have the chance to qualify early, you have to grab that chance…this would really help with squad management in December.”
And of Pepe the Spaniard insisted: “There is no way there is a threat to his time here.
“This club has made a huge investment in him and people obviously expect a lot from him because of his quality.”
Inter Milan have reportedly offered the Gunners the chance to sign ex-Tottenham fan favourite Christian Eriksen for just £12m.
But Arteta has played down any chance of Jack Wilshere making what the ex-England midfielder calls a “dream” return to Arsenal following his summer exit from West Ham.