It’s time for Arsenal to make a final decision on Eddie Nketiah – Where do you stand?

Perhaps no player sums up our modern fan base more than Eddie Nketiah. by Dan Smith

He’s long proven he’s not good enough to be playing for a club the size of Arsenal.

That’s not an insult, just a reflection of the level we are told we are aiming to reach.

If we are trying to compete with Man City, we have to give an honest appraisal of what we have.

Does Eddie get into the Champions first 11? How about Liverpool? Chelsea? Newcastle? Spurs? Villa?

How many sides in the Prem does he start for?

Why are the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich not on the phone making enquiries?

Because whisper it quietly …. He’s not good enough.

He’s 24, so can no longer hide behind being a youngster, and yet he still acts like a competition winner each time he’s on the pitch, grateful to play for the Gunners rather than believing he should be.

In the title run in, whenever I saw him brought on for Martinelli or Jesus, I would almost give up with an obvious drop off in quality.

Yet there are some Gooners who won’t have him criticised because they believe what makes a supporter is saying everything is perfect no matter what.

I know the same readers who refuse to acknowledge our striker’s limitations, yet they were happy to mock a Giroud and Walcott, men who scored over 100 goals in our colours.

It doesn’t impact me your opinion, you’re only lying to yourself and harming our chances of ending our trophy drought by allowing the Kroenke Family to, instead of buying a striker to compete with Jesus, just give Eddie 100,000 pounds a week.

12 months ago, I was suggesting that was a lot of money for someone who will mostly sit on the bench and won’t get double figures in goals.

Wasn’t Ozil greedy for collecting his wages knowing he wasn’t going to start every week?

Eddie scored 9 goals in all competitions last season.

He scored 4 in 30 Prem appearances.

100k a week for 4 League goals.

It was obvious that was going to happen, so transparent, anyone who thought otherwise was foolish.

By the time he was injured he had been dropped for Trossard, with Arteta preferring to play with a false number 9.

Now some will argue that Eddie hasn’t had enough chances, that he hasn’t started as many games as he should.

Yet that’s an entitled view.

What happened to taking every opportunity and acting like it’s your last?

Where is the attitude of making every last second count to get noticed.

Because whisper it quietly …. Eddie Nketiah has played 131 times for Arsenal!

You can twist that stat to make it work for you, you can break down how many of them were starts, you can go round the houses …. 131 games is more than enough opportunities to be able to judge a talent and assess if they are good enough.

Yet some feel admitting anything is wrong with the club they love makes them less of a fan.

That’s their right to have that point of view.

I don’t agree with it, but I respect their thought process.

Yet something strange has happened this week.

With rumours circulating that offers might be considered for Balogun, especially after he’s refused another loan spell, the very same Gooners who condemn me for suggesting Eddie isn’t good enough are now suggesting that if a forward has to be sold it should be Eddie as Balogun hasn’t had the same number of chances.

Which is true, the American international has played twice for the Gunners, 129 times less than Eddie. In one season in France, he already has 7 more League goals then Eddie’s managed in his entire career.

That’s the difference; one player took his opportunity, ran with it and got noticed.

The other is letting his career pass him by.

So, what are these Gooners actually trying to say?

They defend him as good enough to play for Arsenal but are willing to throw him under the bus to keep Balogun?

There has then been links with Eddie and West Ham (notice all the clubs rumoured to be his signatures are in the bottom half of the table?)

I’m not sure he starts every week at the London Stadium either (which I suppose will be someone else’s fault ?). Yet some now hope he can be a makeweight in the Declan Rice saga!

Personally, I don’t think a player whose highest League goals tally is 5, is going to make or break a deal worth 100 million.

Yet again, it’s mixed messages from a section of our fanbase.

You fight for this notion he’s good enough, yet again are willing to throw him under the bus for Rice?

At least I have my opinion.

That is that Eddie is not good enough for Arsenal. That’s zero disgrace.

His stats are laughable in terms of trying to argue he should be playing anywhere near the Champions League.

If he moves, that will be confirmed by the quality of the side he joins.

He’s said to be concerned that Kai Havertz is another threat to him starting.

I don’t believe that.

I don’t think deep down in his core, Eddie thinks he will ever be starting every week if everyone is fit.

That’s why his agent deserves a pay rise for getting him his current salary. 100 grand a week for 4 League goals!!!! Wow!

So where do you guys stand on Eddie?

Good enough to play for us? Or bad enough to sacrifice him for the sake of Balogun and/or Rice?

It’s time to make your mind up……


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Tags Balogun Nketiah Rice


  1. I’m happy we have Eddie at the club but agree he is not at the level required to be the main man.

    If he starts all 38 gqmes, perhqps he gets double figures…but start a proper CL level striker he gets you 25+

    He isnt as prolific as some of other strikers in the PL like a Toney, or Watkins…

    Not as prolific as balogun.

    Not as skillful as jesus or the incoming havertz.

    But, as a option off the bench, and given the returns, will get 1 in 4, not great stats but still goals.

    He offers pace and pressing and effort and he has improved season on season.

    Given how the club navigates transfers, i say we should aim to keep the 3 we have eddie flo and gjesus and add kHavertz.

    Whats likely to happen is we lose eddie and flobalogun and only add havertz.

    We will get aroun 40m for both eddie and flo b which will offset to a degree what we spend on a non prolific havertz.

    We wont atruggle for goqls only because we have them in midfield via saka martinelli odegaard and to a degree trossard.

  2. Sell sell sell. Who in their right mind would even think of giving Eddie 100k/w? Credit to him for getting that deal but unfortunately, there are better players out there.

  3. Nketiah’s high-pressing efforts and finishing skills are excellent, but he struggles to hold off big CBs

    If he was given the chance to start in twenty league matches, I’m sure he could score more than ten goals. This is why he should move to a smaller club as soon as possible, where he can become their main CF

    If the likes of Balogun and Pepe could score many goals in France, let alone Nketiah

    1. “Finishing skills”; GAI you must see something I don’t! Nketiah has trouble finding the side of the barn, let alone hitting the door.
      Do Arsenal players even practice shooting and finishing, because Jesus and Nketiah need specific attention?

  4. Eddie has paid his dues in Arsenal but not good enough to cope with the present status of Arsenal. I believe he knows this and is better for him to consider other clubs.

  5. You wouldn’t be sacrificing Eddie for Rice – more like Havertz.
    There are definitely tiers of Premiership players and Eddie is definitely a Premiership quality player – I would say his level would be Brentford – Crystal Palace – Fulham that sort of level.
    I also think that despite his wonderful loan spell at Reims, Balogun is also at that lower tier of Premiership player – In fact, may be even lower than Eddie because he struggled with Middlesbrough scoring one goal in six.
    I would consider selling one – depending upon the size of the potential transfer fee for each.

    1. Me2, Balogun is older, more mature and has more experience and games under his belt since Middlesborough.
      Havertz is an attacking midfielder and German international, whereas Balogun is a centre forward, so not competingfor the same position.

  6. I don’t understand all this Eddie hate.

    Yes, he’s not good enough to be the main man, but has improved year-on-year, and as a backup player, he performed extremely well covering for Jesus. The evidence actually suggests we could see an even better Eddie next season.

    What do people expect? That we have another player of Jesus’s quality that’s happy to sit on the bench every week? Not possible at any club! We need a squad.

    If I had to choose, I would give Balogun a chance over Eddie, but in reality it’s a no go. Balogun looks likely to not sign a new contract, and wants to be a starter. No way does he start over Jesus.

    1. Jen, I thought this was a rational discussion, with no previous posters using emotive words like “hate” towards Nketiah.

      1. I was talking in general from other articles and comments about Nketiah. I’ve seen plenty of hate against him. They are almost always negative about him.

          1. Ozzie there goes a worldly wise and mature man replying to and putting right a young and semi literate person. Well done!

            Its so frustrating to we who speak and write English properly and can thus use it in nuanced debate, to come across silly youngsters who foolishly and unthinkingly misuse basic English words and hence distort sensible debate into wrongly used polarisation..

  7. Dan
    Think you are a little harsh on Eddie.
    Yes I agree he’s not quite what Arsenal requires just now.
    He was pretty useful and served his purpose in the last campaign.

    Again here I think his whole salary issue was taken out of context.
    Had Arsenal released Eddie, what would it had cost Arsenal to buy a striker and weekly salary?

    But Eddie to West Ham should be a deal made in heaven, the Bubbles has held a long standing intrest in the young Englishman, it would afford him more game time at the London stadium, and West Ham could do with two of those goals he scored for us in the last campaign.

    So Eddie to West Ham is a win win situation for all parties, even if we shoould allowed him to leave for peanuts taking his fat salary in considerations.

      1. West Ham has been desperate for goals, only four teams score less goals last than the bubbles last season.

        Think that’s the basis for West Ham intrest, so yes.

  8. Quite frankly, neither Nketiah nor Balogun are of the quality we need at Arsenal.This may sound silly, but ,apart from his goals, many of which were penalty conversions, Balogun has not impressed me during his period with Middlesbrough nor on the occasions I have seen him in the French top tier which is not nearly as competitive as the EPL.In fact I think EN brings more to the table than the American.With the acquisition of Havertz, we have 3 players who can compete for the central striker position including Jesus and last but not least, Martinelli who I feel can be very effective in that role with his pace, energy and finishing skills.In essence, I would not be averse to selling EN and Balogun as a means of landing Rice and/or Caicedo and the talented , versatile Timber and Havertz.

  9. After this window Arteta will and should complete his squad. There is a reason for extending some players contracts contrary to many expectations. We should wait and see what he has in mind.

    Next season there is no longer any excuse. Time has been given, money has been spent, all support required has been given.

    I think what he is building will be clear next season.

    1. The excuse will be:
      We’ve spent £600mil.+ on players in last 4 seasons but
      other clubs have spent 2 or 3 times that money…

  10. Eddie stands out of the team given incoming stars and their likely positions. But the reality remains: Eddie was not tapped!

  11. If one is at the level you don’t need to argue your point.

    Nketiah clearly isn’t at the level required for Arsenal. 5 years 131 games are ample evidence it has not worked. Sometimes it doesn’t work for players; be it Pepe, Nketiah, or Vieira.

    Move on and try to find success elsewhere, best of luck.

  12. Never forget Eddie held on top spot for us when Jesus was injured, he did really well for us.

    1. Fair comment KU; Nketiah did hold the fort, but Jesus isn’t a ruthless goal scorer either.

  13. Arsenal should not waste time nketiah should leave and give opportunity for balogun to prove to the doubters he perfect man to leed arsenal front line , I still never understood why arsenal gave nketiah that legendary jersey it was even better for arsenal last season to have released nketiah and retain lacazette let arsenal not waste Time, let them give hammers him in part exchange for rice

    1. Maybe Eddies’ agent has some interesting photos of Edu/Arteta/Kronke in compromising positions …

      Unfortunately, his new £100k pw contract has erased any possible transfer value in return, if West Ham will take his salary off the books, you’d be cheering like schoolgirl! 🤣

  14. I like him. I like his effort and he exhibits predatory striker instincts. He reminds me of Ian Wright in the way he moves and runs. But even if we played to a style that suited a good old fashioned 6 yard finished he would still struggle to score 15+ a season, and for that reason I think he should be sold. I think he’s good enough for the Premier League but not for a Top 6 club.

    1. Ben, remind me again how many goals did Ian Wright score and his average return per season at Arsenal, please?
      I’m sorry I just can’t see the resemblance with Nketiah.

      1. You missed the point. I said Eddie reminds me of Wright in the way he moves. If he was as good as Wright we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

        1. Ben, moving and running without end product (goals or assists) for a centre forward means lack of contribution?

  15. Slightly disrespectful to West Ham who have been top 10 EPL more often than not since Arsenal won their last trophy (An FA cup) AND finished above Arsenal 2 seasons ago AND have won More European trophies in the past 29 years than Arsenal AND won a European trophy before Arsenal had won one….. you are correct that Eddie wouldn’t start at West Ham or Arsenal –

  16. In a previous post I sat on the fence regarding Eddie and Balogun
    EN is a decent enough squad member but when there is a long term injury to contend with, he, like Holding are both not good enough, unfortunately imo.

    The salary raise was a major surprise to me and of course sets a benchmark for other pay reviews

    1. Sue, Timing changes perspectives I SAY.

      IF we had other strikers to choose, avail and fit we might well have not agreed that £100k pw contract. But we did not back then. Auba waas already a busted flush and on his way out

      And we stll badly ned a specialist striker.. My instincts are as yours, in that neither of them are good enough for what we need going forward

      But my gut feeling is NOW, that we will keep BALOGUN AND TRANSFER LIST EDDIE, though a little later in the summer window. Not saying that is what I want but is what I think we will do.
      Why Holding and Elneny are still here, I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND, AS BOTH ARE WAY SUB PAR, IMO.

        1. Ben I ALWAYS speak sense and that is , in part, WHY I AM OK.
          On top of my language skills, as an older man I choose to also live right. . I work out, exercise regularly, have never smoked don’t drink and at almost 72 , remain lean, fit and supple.

          So thanks for asking, but as you see, I AM OK.
          Are you too, by any chance?

          1. Oh Jon, I’m stuffed then…. I smoke like a trooper and drink like a thirsty fish!

            Still, i’m also lean, fit and supple, so maybe it’s not so bad….

      1. Why is this whole argument based on Eddie I believe Ed can still improve the board should pay more attention on how to get holding Tomiysu and co out of the squared and not Eddie

          1. Yes Ben, and clearly so. So when Nketiah is 26 the excuse will be

            “We can’t sell Nketiah, he’s in his prime.”

            Clearly Arsenal need better than Nketiah, some let emotion overtake reason and logic.

  17. Everyone would love Eddie to succeed, but I don’t think he is good enough, at least not in this moment. His work rate is great and he fits with the press, but ultimately we need goals. We are very reliant on goals coming from all across the front line. Jesus is not and will not be prolific, we need a player who can score the vital goals we will need to ensure victory in tight games. All the best to Eddie, but if we can get the cash I would say we take it. We would still need a goal scorer IMO though.

  18. Dan, as always another good thought provoking article.

    On most subjects I agree with you but this one I don’t.

    To be honest I’m kinda bored with the Eddie isn’t good enough posts because they are easy as A, he doesn’t score enough and B he isn’t Thierry Henry or Ian Wright, and C he never cost millions of pounds to take us to the ‘Elite’ level (What ever that is).

    Eddie is the total opposite of Jesus, he is a typical number 9 that sits on the centre back and is a general pest whereas Jesus is more of a free spirit that roams from left to right and creates his own space. Eddie is deployed to push the centre backs back for Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard and Xhaka to overload the void. Jesus, creates confusion as nobody is sure who is supposed to pick him up as he pops up all over the place.

    What became apparent last season was that if the opposition played with a low block Jesus was ineffective as the intricate passing was snuffed out due to the defensive overload. These are the games where we needed to get Eddie on earlier as by pinning the defenders back left space for the midfielders to exploit. Not a coincidence that Saka, Martinelli and Odegaard scored more when Eddie was playing.

    I agree, that his goal scoring record isn’t great, but in his defense he isn’t asked to be an out and out striker, he was basically asked to the above and if he had an opportunity then have a go. He spent most of his time pressing from the front and had hardly anything to feed from. He basically fed of scraps, and you will see that from the 4 goals he scored last season. Probably all 4 were opportunist goals and not from predefined periods of play.

    I’m hoping with the signing of Havertz will bring the best out of him as he is well renowned to chase and score from flicks ons and space to run into.

    I see a lot of Ian Wright in Eddie, he just needs the service and I will guarantee you, this boy will score lots of goals He just needs to stop being Mr Nice guy and be an arrogant, greedy, nasty little bugger that all world class strikers are and push Jesus for that starting spot.

    I’ve seen enough of this boy play, to know that he can be as good as Toney and Watkins and has the capability of being an absolute superstar.

    1. Anyway, the front 3 would be the last place I would be looking at selling, as to replace will probably be treble the amount we sell for. We have other positions we need to trim the fat from, so this conversation is a bit of a non starter in my eyes.

      But, this is Artedu, so nothing ever surprises me.

      There are only handful of strikers that warrant big money to take us to the top level. One plays for Sh!tty, the other 2 play for PSG and Napoli.

      1. I was gonna say 4 but I don’t want to mention anything associated with that lot down the other end of Seven Sisters Road

    2. NB, unfortunately Balogun and Nketiah don’t get to play with a Dennis Bergkamp, like Wright and Henry did. Ian Wright always states that Dennis Bergkamp was the best player Arsenal ever bought or was likely to buy.

  19. Well, Eddie wants to play week in and week out, unfortunately, that is not possible with Arsenal. To go to another team, would be the best decision-making. Wish him well.

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