It’s time for Nketiah to show Arteta he can challenge Jesus up front

There was no-one more surprised than me when Mikel Arteta persuaded Eddie Nketiah to extend his Arsenal contract at the end of last season, as I was certain that he would move on to a slightly smaller club so that he could get to play as first-choice striker.

I know there was the small matter of a bumper contract to help persuade him, but the England U21 record goalscorer seemed to have made it clear that he wanted to play, play, play (and score, score, score obviously).

Whatever the reason, he took his chances at the end of last season, and I am hoping he will be an able backup when or if (God forbid) Gabriel Jesus gets injured or suspended, And at least he is certain to get starts in the Europa League and the domestic cups, and it is now up to him to prove to Mikel Arteta that he is up to the job, and no one doubt his record in the Europa League has been pretty good so far and he scored the winning goal against Zurich in our opening game.

He is really looking forward to getting much more gametime in the fixture glut before the World Cup, and is happy he will be leading the line tonight against Bodo/Glimt: “It’s good to get some minutes and some starts, and obviously it’s always nice to score a goal or two as well.” he told “It’s good to test yourself against European opposition so I’m really looking forward to the game.

“I think [tonight’s game] is a good opportunity for the whole team to build on the good start we’ve had with the three points [against FC Zurich]. It’s a very important competition for all of us; we want to win and we want to qualify first as we know how important it is.

“For myself, the more games there are, the more opportunity there is to play so I’m looking forward to games in Europe and also domestically.

“The coach has got a tough decision and it’s up to me to keep working and when I get the opportunity on the field or in training, show why I should be playing. That’s what I’m going to keep trying to do.

“If I don’t play as much as I like, I’m still going to support the team, and in whatever role or minutes I get, try and do my best. I’m confident that with time and as the season goes on I’ll get opportunities and it’s up to me to take them.”

It is Eddie, and it will be interesting to see how a nearly completely changed Arsenal team will perform this evening, but I am certain that if Eddie gets a few chances, he will score at least once…


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  1. Challenging Jesus is a bit too far, think Nketiah will only be a backup option at Arsenal; just won’t get the minutes. Probably better for his career if he didn’t extend; he needs a club where he gets steady minutes where he can play and develop consistency.

    Nice guy, good personality to have at the club, just not the production we need, forget about challenging Jesus.

  2. Nketiah could only become the No.1 striker in a team much further down the league compared to where Arsenal are now, or in the championship. I actually think Arsenal should sign a better striker to replace Nketiah and either keep him as back-up or let him go. Apart from a purple patch when he had a good game against Chelsea, Nketiah has never been good enough.

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