With the Gunners boss adamant that the out-of-sorts winger will avoid being a £ 72 million ($ 97m) flop, Mikel Arteta has promised to help Nicolas Pepe thrive at Arsenal.
During the summer of 2019, a highly-rated forward snatched up in a club recording contract is perilously close to tumbling into that category.
Despite being at Emirates Stadium for 18 months, when he completed a big-money move from Lille, Pepe is still to persuade and make the impact required of him.
There were flashes of brilliance, but serious questions were raised about the skill and mindset of the foreign Ivory Coast.
The patience of Arsenal with a costly asset can only extend to this point, as they strive to create much-needed cohesion as a group, but Arteta will continue to give Pepe time.
After seeing the 25-year-old put in another unmemorable display in a third-round FA Cup clash with Newcastle, the Spanish tactician told journalists: “We need to encourage him to help him to (succeed).”
He needs continuity in the team in order to do it, and when he has that, he needs to demonstrate that he is capable of doing it.
“Let’s see how they develop over the next few months.”
With Arsenal needing a late rally from Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to secure a 2-0 victory, Pepe was substituted against Newcastle in extra-time.
At times against the Magpies, the Ivorian saw his touch and finishing leave him again, but Arteta is unwilling to choose fault for those who have not seen daily beginnings of late.