Merson claims Arsenal first-teamer wouldn’t start for Fulham

Paul Merson has claimed that Arsenal striker Eddie NKetiah wouldn’t get in Fulham’s team, insisting that we wouldn’t be able to earn a Champions League place with him in our first-team.

The Gunners narrowly missed out on the top-four last term, with Alexandre Lacazette having held down the first-choice role for much of the campaign, while Nketiah came into the side after impressing in the absence of the Frenchman. I would argue that we wouldn’t have finished as close to fourth as we did if young Eddie hadn’t stepped up when he did, but Merson claims that there is ‘no chance’ that he would be able to fire us into the CL places.

‘All Arsenal have got up front right now is Eddie Nketiah, who recently signed a new contract when it looked like he might leave,’ Merson told the Daily Star.

‘And no disrespect to Nketiah but Mikel Arteta must realise he won’t get you into the top four. Absolutely no chance. That’s a fact.

‘Nketiah can’t be spearheading your Champions League push. He’s not getting in ahead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison at Everton and they almost got relegated.

‘He’s not getting in at Fulham ahead of Aleksandr Mitrovic and they’ve only just been promoted. I’m not having a go at him but he’s not getting you top four.’

Nketiah isn’t quite the finished article yet, but he did make improvements this season, and is well deserving of his new deal. I hope that he can pick up plenty of minutes this season to continue on that upward curve, but on what we have seen, I have to agree that he isn’t to be our main outlet in attack. Not yet anyway.

Would Nketiah get in the Everton or Fulham teams? Is Merson being a little harsh on our new number 14?


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  1. Don’t think he’d start up front, which is maybe more about playing styles, but it says he’s not significantly better than mitrovic, dcl or richarlison, if at all.

    Also, I agree we probably would have dropped more points and finished further from fourth had Eddie not taken over from laca when he did, but i don’t think we’d have been as close to fourth in the first place had Eddie been playing instead of Laca from earlier in the season. Laca did get us points in games I don’t think Eddie would have had an impact in, and maybe his star would have burned out after a few games (we just don’t know)

      1. Scrapping with the keeper at wolves for someone else to score the winner – that sort of thing. He did it for a run of games that were crucial to our end points tally

  2. Paul Merson should act as a builder. To this type of conclusion before the beginning of the season is unfortunate because if Nketia is your son I don’t think you will make that comments, knowing what possible psychological damage it cause the young lad. I have been following your comments and most times falls below a man of your status. Are they borne out of envy or hatred for Arteta who doctored Nketia”s contact?

  3. Eddie would walk into most mid table or lower Premiership sides.

    He is cover. A top squad player – like Cedric or Lokonga or Holding

    Jesus will be our main striker.

    Get real ….

  4. some “real” talk by Merse…of course, it doesn’t mean our purple patch kid is a scrub, it just means he’s not the kind of player who should a starting option for any PL team…as such, the wage package he’s on is a tad confounding…I would have liked to have known what other clubs were offering for his services…there was some speculation that seemed to suggest around 70per was on offer, but certainly nothing close to 100K

  5. This is uncalled for , why not build the confidence of young player instead of discouraging before even season starts

  6. Merson… Merson…?

    Ah yeah, played for a while, never coached or managed, gave up football a long time ago… that Merson?


    1. 423 appearances for arsenal and he won things. You can disagree with him, but his credentials are fine by me

      1. Agree Davi. Im sure he is entitled to his opinion like everyone else, without the insults. But then again maybe not.

  7. Matson is right anyway. Nketai is not that top finisher yet. We need a striker no doubt.
    I pray that Jesus works out fine in our favour.

  8. Merson is ever with a negative energy towards arsenal players as if they are the ones who advised him to be a drunkard a leave football at a early stage, merson should stay home and enjoy his retirement benefits if any rather than criticizing every decisions made by Arteta

  9. I have believe in nketial, why not, he can be arsenal main man, many players like him played for arsenal without significant of success but, nketial that scour big team Luke Chelsea, man u & others big teams, y not, he can become best ever in arsenal history

  10. Not helpful Merson. Let the homegrown rise and develop. He loves Arsenal. You on the other hand disgraced yourself and Arsenal during your time here. Were it not for public love of you, you would have been dropped like a stone and not had a media career after your antics. I know you won awards with us but so did many others and they don’t spout your tripe. Think before you speak!

  11. coming from the man who quite simply said he needs to stay…..

    ”if i was Eddie, i would stay, you wont do better than a massive club like arsenal”

  12. Merson is a former drunkard and needs attention from
    the media and thowes out silly statements on a regular
    basis .Pathetic really

  13. Bizarre reversal from Merson who unequivocally stated that Nketiah should be retained at Arsenal at all costs when he was working as a TV pundit. Time will tell……

  14. Eddie is coming up fine and would do it as long as he gets the chance. Saka and Smith-Rowe stepped up to the plate courtesy of more game time. That’s what Eddie needs, more game time, that would build his confidence and he will deliver.

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