Nicolas Pepe drops Instagram hint over Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal team selection against Watford

Nicolas Pepe could be a surprise inclusion in Arsenal’s starting XI against Watford.

The start of the season was rather kind to the Ivory Coast international as he started every Premier League game he was available for up until the north London derby win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Since then the only league game Pepe has started is the 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace where he played a key role in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener and Alexandre Lacazette’s last-gasp equaliser.

Furthermore, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta appears to have settled on Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe as his first-choice options in the wide areas.

Thus leaving Pepe out in the cold.

After being an unused substitute in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa, the winger played the final five minutes plus injury time against Leicester City last weekend.

And with no fresh injury concerns coming out of the game at the King Power Stadium, it would be somewhat of a shock if Arteta makes any changes to the side that started the 2-0 win.

But has the Spaniard seen something from Pepe in training this week to change his mind?

That may be the case as if the 26-year-old’s social media activity is anything to go by.

As seen in the image above, taking to Instagram, Pepe has done his best to hype up the big game at the Emirates Stadium which could suggest he’s in line to start.

Alternatively, this could just be a sign that he will, as expected, be one of nine substitutes that the Arsenal boss is allowed to name for a Premier League match.