Unai Emery expects Nicolas Pepe to be fit for Arsenal's trip to Watford on Sunday, but admitted he doesn't know the exact nature of the injury that kept the forward out of international duty.

The 24-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Lille in a club-record £72million move over the summer, missed the Ivory Coast's recent friendlies against Tunisia and Benin.

Although he initially linked up with his international team-mates in France, Pepe returned to north London to work on his fitness as a result of the problem.

But Emery confirmed that the forward should be ready to return to action when his side makes the trip to Vicarage Road over the weekend.

Nicolas Pepe remained with Arsenal during the recent international break

“We decided to keep him here with us and we were working with him to have him ready for Sunday and we think he will be,” Emery said.

“It is a small problem. Where is it? I don’t know exactly.”

Despite featuring in all four of the Gunners' opening Premier League matches, starting against both Liverpool and Tottenham , Pepe is yet to find the net for his new club.

Pepe has featured in each of Arsenal's opening four matches

However, Emery insisted he isn't worried and urged fans to be patient with the forward, who scored 22 goals in Ligue 1 last term.

“We need people to be patient with him and also help him to be comfortable,” the Arsenal manager added.

“As with Dani Ceballos, each training session and match is very important to be ready and to achieve their performance.

Read More

Mirror Football's Top Stories

"I really think the progress is going perfectly.”

Although Emery expects to have one his star strikers fit against Watford, the Spaniard will be without another after Alexandre Lacazette was ruled out until October with an ankle injury.

The club confirmed on Friday that the Frenchman has been playing through the pain for the past few weeks but will be out of action until next month.