December 5, 2021

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Granit Xhaka backs Pepe to “come back stronger” after red card

1 min read

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has backed Nicolas Pepe to come back stronger following his red card in the weekend’s goalless stalemate with Leeds United.

The 25-year-old was given his marching orders for headbutting Ezgjan Alioski early on in the second half, but the 10 men of Arsenal nevertheless managed to hold on for a point at Elland Road.

Pepe will now serve a three-game ban in the Premier League, and the Ivory Coast winger recently issued an apology on Instagram admitting that he had “let his team down”.

Pepe’s teammate Xhaka was quick to express his support for the attacker in the comments, writing: “Keep going brother. You come back stronger. WE ARE WITH YOU.”

Despite his domestic suspension, Pepe will be available for Arsenal in the Europa League, with the Gunners travelling to Norway in midweek to take on Molde in Group B.

The former Lille man has struggled to nail down a regular spot in Mikel Arteta’s first XI this season, though, with Pepe scoring three goals and assisting two more across all competitions.

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