This week Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah captained England’s Under 21, got a hat-trick inside 10 minutes, scored the following game and is one goal away from equalling Alan Shearer’s record for his country’s under age group. By Dan
Arteta has always stressed that everyone will be judged by form not reputation(apart from Ozil), so it makes sense to take advantage of any momentum the striker might have from International Duty.
Considering Lacazette’s lack of preparation, this weekend could be a huge opportunity for Eddie.
For any graduate from our academy starting in the Premiership, it is a big deal, but there are different rules if you play up front.
Where as Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock can get away with having flaws in their game, a centre forward is mostly judged on the chances he misses or converts. Especially when you consider he’s an old fashioned striker, based on he does most of his work in the penalty area, hence the comparison to a Ian Wright, unlike a Laca who holds the ball up or Auba who works the wings.
The 21 year old can boast 3 goals in 21 League outings, but that was at a period where the campaign was largely a write off.
With some Gooners now predicting a title challenge this will be the true test of if he can handle the pressure of playing for a club our size. Even if I personally think it’s ludicrous to suggest we can make up a 43-point gap on Liverpool based on two signings, there is no doubt you do need mental strength to play for the Gunners.
You don’t score in a few games for a Newcastle, it’s not the end of the world, any drought at Arsenal, it gets talked about and debated.
That’s why I think a loan to a mid-table club could be beneficial for his development. He doesn’t need to prove his talent, he wouldn’t have made it this far without it, but what seperates a player from being at a mid table club to a top four one is coping with the demand to win every week, and in Eddie’s case, to score regularly.
Arsenal often create plenty of chances during 90 minutes so it’s not like Nketiah wouldn’t get a chance to score goals at the Emirates. As much as I see that he’s a poacher, he’s also missed big chances in matches.
I just need to see if he has the personality to be at this level. Unlike a Saka he plays like he’s grateful for the opportunity rather than believing this is his stage.
I just sense it’s now or never for Eddie, and if you really believe his time is now, he’s 150-1 shot for the Golden Boot.
Has Nketiah done enough to warrant a regular role in Arsenal’s first-team?