Nicolas Pepe was sent off for a headbutt on Leeds’ Ezgjan Alioski in Arsenal’s goalless draw at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon.
But Mikel Arteta is set to give the Arsenal forward a chance to immediately move on from his red card at Leeds United by giving him a start in the Europa League clash at Molde on Thursday.
The dismissal has led to further criticism of the £72million club-record signing, who has often flattered to deceive since joining the club from Lille last summer.
Arteta was highly critical of the 24-year-old at full-time, telling Sky Sports that Pepe’s actions let his team down in the goalless draw.
Yet with Arsenal on the cusp of qualification from their Europa League group and facing a hectic Premier League period, Arteta is set to use Pepe in the forthcoming European matches as he serves his domestic suspension.
The Ivorian will miss the Premier League matches against Wolves, Tottenham and Burnley over the next three weekends, but he will be available for the games against Molde, Rapid Vienna and Dundalk on the forthcoming Thursday nights.
According to The Times, the Gunners boss won’t fine Pepe for his indiscretion, and also won’t drop him from the first-team squad entirely as he did with Matteo Guendouzi last season.
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