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Emery: Pepe Could Start Against Liverpool


Unai Emery suggested he is ready to hand record signing Nicolas Pepe a first Arsenal start in Saturday's Premier League clash with Liverpool.

The Ivory Coast forward arrived in a deal that could reach a reported €80 million (£72m/$89m) from Lille in the close season but has been limited to substitute appearances in wins over Newcastle United and Burnley.

Gunners boss Emery has been reluctant to thrust the 24-year-old into action due to a lack of pre-season preparation at Arsenal.

But Emery hinted a more prominent role is possible for Pepe against Liverpool as the only two teams with 100 per cent records in the Premier League face each other at Anfield.

"The most important thing is, like a person, to help him and his family to feel comfortable here. Now he is three weeks into working here with us," Emery said of Pepe.

"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 individual performances are progressively getting better. For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes.

"I am going to decide tomorrow, but really his progress has been positive and has been good for the team and for him."

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