Unai Emery hinted at new role for £72m summer signing

Unai Emery has hinted that club-record signing Nicolas Pepe may have his first start at Emirates as the Gunners travel to face Liverpool.

The Ivorian attacker has come off the bench in the opening two Premier League games of the new campaign.

The winger replaced Reiss Nelson at half-time in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Burnley and showed some solid touches as he continues to build an understanding with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

While Unai Emery has often taken time to bed new players into his team, he feels the Ivory Coast international could now be ready to step up.

“The most important thing is, like a person, to help him and his family to feel comfortable here,” Unai Emery said of the £72 million signing.

“Now he is three weeks into working here with us. He didn’t do the pre-season here, but he’s progressively feeling better.

“For example, in the first match, he played 15 minutes in Newcastle, then he played 45 minutes against Burnley. I think his performances are progressively getting better.

“For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes. I am going to decide tomorrow, but his progress has been positive and has been good for the team and for him.”

Both Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka are expected to be fully recovered from the issues which kept them out of the Burnley win.

Arsenal travel to Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp’s men being the only team along with the Gunners to remain unbeaten in the new season of Premier League.