Mikel Arteta says that the critics are completely wrong about Nketiah not being a ‘top level’ striker

It is a fact that many readers on JustArsenal continually berate our backup striker Eddie Nketiah as not being good enough for the Gunners, and in fact it is continually stated that “Arsenal will never win a title with Eddie Nketiah up front”. Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it is quite clear that Eddie is very well-respected in the Arsenal camp, and Mikel Arteta has made it clear that he disagrees completely with Eddie’s critics.

After Eddie’s first hat-trick for Arsenal yesterday, Arteta was asked about how Nketiah responds to the endless criticism from people who say he’s not top level, and he responded: “Well to me he is top level. He’s started nine out of our ten Premier League games, so that tells you how much we trust him and the importance he has in the team. I’m really happy for him, an academy player to experience a Premier League hat-trick. He needs to enjoy the moment, he fully deserves it, and hopefully there are many more to come.

Arteta was then cheekily asked what level did he think Eddie could reach. He said: “I don’t know. He’s already playing for Arsenal. He’s started games in the Premier League. He’s already really good [and] he can be better. The best thing he’s got, along with the talent, is his mentality. It’s incredible. When he has that mentality and that talent, he’s going to get much better.”

It is often forgotten that, although Nketiah has been at Arsenal for seven years, he is still only 24 years old and is Arsenal through and through. He is still young enough to get better and better every year with more games under his belt.

Don’t the critics think they should trust Arteta’s judgement in deciding who is good enough to play for Arsenal? I certainly do!

Sam P


Watch all the goals from the Sheffield game here – including Nketiah’s hat-trick

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Tags Arteta Eddie Nketiah


  1. No, I’ll consider his body of work over 5 years and over 140 appearances; that’s a more accurate view of a player.

    However, if others wish to focus on one match against an injury ridden SU as “proof” of anything, then let them.

    Trying to convince anyone to disregard everything they have seen the past 5 years and base any verdict on 1 match is akin to selling snake oil and magic beans.

    Glad Arteta believes in Nketiah, but don’t try to sell the idea he’s class or top quality.

    Guess that means Raya is world class too? He shut out SU, so he’s nailed on number 1 over Ramsdale? Good win for us, 3 points, but let’s not consider that match a harbinger of anything substantial.

    1. I like that Raya comment
      Arteta should bring Ramsdale back
      What has Ramsdale done wrong that he is being punished

  2. Despite Nketiah’s high-pressing effort and hattrick, he fell too many times when playing against Sheffield United and other small teams

    If he’d like to reach Aguero’s level, he should improve his hold-up play

    1. Gai, It is easy to consider a player great and fantastic after a hattrick. I am a realistic fan and not a gaffer trying to protect and motivate his players. I do not rate Nketiah as an elite CF he has lots of limitations. Really, in big clubs like Arsenal where Ian Right, HThierry, Van Parcy, Nikolas Anelka, Adebayo and Auba etc have played as strikers how can I rate Nketiah. How truthful the gaffar is on his rating would be known if he still keeps Nketiah in the next 1 season.

  3. As in a previous article Durand, we agree on Eddie Nketiah… based on his previous seven years, not against a team shipping goals with multiple players out injured.

    As I’ve explained before, I judge players against the Invincibles and Eddie is nowhere near that level.

    Of course MA will say that, having awarded him a reported £100k a week contract and I will support Eddie everytime he wears the shirt.

  4. I don’t think Eddie Nketia is elite but some of the flak he gets is way over the top. At the beginning of the season,when Jesus was injured, he scored a couple of goals and won a crucial penalty that got us points, earning him a call up to the England Squad. I don’t have the numbers, but I believe this season Eddie is up there with Saka and Odegaard, when it comes to match-winning goal contributions.

    That said, I’ve noticed that Eddie never seems to play well whenever he comes on as a sub. On the other hand ,often plays well whenever he starts – working hard even if he doesn’t score or assist.His ability to impact the game from the bench is questionable in my opinion and that needs to improve. Finally, like I always say, you can’t expect a striker to score goals if they are not getting chances. The fact is, we are not yet creating enough chances as we did last season. I believe our forwards will score more goals if we can find a way of creating more chances.

  5. It’s bizarre why this is always such a talking point amongst Arsenal fans?

    The constant criticism is that he’s not good enough to be our 1st choice striker, which is a mute point as no one is saying he is!

    He is what he is – a squad player, and probably the best backup striker one could ask for, unless you’re delusional and think a backup striker should be of the same quality of our main striker, banging in 30 goals a season from the bench, and happy to constantly be on the bench?

    Anyway, Nketiah is outscoring Hojland, Alvarez, one behind Isak, etc, so I don’t see how we can complain?

  6. I am thrilled for Eddie that he scored a hat trick and all were well taken goals so enormous credit for that.

    I don’t doubt that he is a good player but not one who automatically starts. I believe that honour will go to somebody else. As part of the bigger picture then that is fine, but he isn’t a Haaland.

  7. So Nketiah has suddenly become a top quality striker. No need for the likes of Osimhen cos we’ve got a very underrated world class striker in Nketiah. Like my people would say, clap for yourself

  8. Nketiah needs to be consistent specially against top teams to be a top level striker. No doubt, he works very hard and gives his all for the shirt but he needs to be more consistent in his scoring against teams with better defences. It was a good win for Arsenal and it improves our goal difference.

  9. Isn’t it funny?
    It’s Sheffield for God’s sake.
    Worst defense in the league plus a and full of players out injured.
    I knew it was a kind of game in which he’ll likely shine.

    So, if we’re to follow the logic of some people here, we should retain him for matches like this and rate him based on matches against these much weaker sides.

  10. Great to see Eddie Nketiah score his first hat trick and in fact he could have scored four, if he he hadn’t passed over the opportunity to take the penalty.
    “One swallow doesn’t a summer make” and thus far Nketiah’s scoring contributions per game played (even if many have been as a substitute) are not indicative of a top striker.
    Arsenal must look for an upgrade for a more efficient, effective, ruthless and prolific striker to compete this season.

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