Mikel Arteta has admitted that he was wrong not to play Eddie Nketiah more for Arsenal this season.
The 22 year-old has featured very little in the first team over the last two seasons, despite initially impressing when returning from his loan spell with Leeds to help the Spanish boss win the FA Cup.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having left to join Barcelona earlier in the year, and with Alexandre Lacazette out with Covid-19 recently, the young Englishman was called upon to lead the line, and while he didn’t manage to score against Southampton, he did bag himself a brace in helping to defeat Chelsea last night.
Manager Arteta has now admitted that he has been ‘unfair’ to overlook Nketiah so regularly.
“If there is one player that I have been unfair with, I think it is him,” The manager told Arsenal Media. “He has given me every right to do something different, so if Eddie hasn’t played more.”
“It’s my fault and because as a manager I have missed something or I haven’t had the courage to play him more, and today he showed me again how wrong I was.”
Regular readers may recall me being positive about Eddie Nketiah in previous posts, having seen him thoroughly impressing in pre-season before getting injured, and with him also flourishing in his limited playing time in the cup competitions this term also.
The issue we have now is that he is likely fed up with being constantly overlooked and will not be interested in staying on as our back-up to a new signing, knowing that he has already suffered heavily behind Laca and Auba previously, with the new striker likely to command an even stronger hold on the attacking role.
Even if trust was shown in Nketiah in the remaining six matches this season, I struggle to believe it will be enough to convince him that he should stay, and he will likely be the next academy graduate to flourish after leaving the club for pastures new.
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