Eddie Nketiah fails to impress at Everton – “questions are still going to be asked.”

For the first time this season, for the Everton game, Arteta had both of his attackers, Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, match-fit.

The Spaniard had a choice to make, and he chose to begin with Nketiah.Unfortunately, judging the Englishman on his performance against Everton, it would leave many questioning if he truly deserves to start for Arsenal.

According to Alan Shearer, the 24-year-old, who has already scored two goals this season, was lethargic vs. Everton, which was concerning enough that the Premier League legend implied he didn’t take his chances well with Gabriel on the bench.

Speaking about Eddie Nketiah on Premier League productions as transcribed by HITC, Alan Shearer said, “We will continue to have discussions to say, ‘Is he elite? And the top-draw striker that Arsenal need to go to that next level?’

“We will keep on asking those questions because it’s important that when he gets the opportunity like he has done, then he has to take those opportunities.

“I just thought there were two or three occasions against Everton, one being the disallowed goal. [when he didn’t rush to get back onside]

“There were a couple in that second half where I was thinking, ‘Come on. Get on the end of it and into the six-yard box and that little tap-in, like all great strikers do’. It was just a split second where he was slow.

“Until he does that, then those questions are still going to be asked.”

Arsenal plays PSV in the Champions League on Wednesday night, and there’s no question Gabriel Jesus will make his first start of the season. There’s every belief that how he plays in that game could keep him in the starting 11 for the North London derby next weekend.

Nketiah had his chances and he ought to have scored against Everton, which would have cemented his place in the team, but he didn’t, which leaves many feeling it’s about time we see what Jesus has to give, as Arteta conceded the other day.

Sam P


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Tags Gabriel Jesus Nketiah Shearer


  1. I have to agree. He is not that big a guy to play as a traditional CF, gotta drop wide or deep sometimes to create chances for himself and others like Jesus and Alvarez normally does to improve his goal scoring numbers given our positive style of football and not a counter attack based type that would suit a CF of his size with Vardy being a prime example. There was also a situation he found himself on sunday at the edge of the box where should have rolled back the ball to send his marker to the cleaners before shooting even if it’s his weaker foot there is higher likelihood it ends up in the net but he decided to shoot at a very tight angle instead which aided an easy save for Pickford, hopefully he learned from that for future reference.

  2. Believe it or not – Nketiah will always be Nketiah and will never be Jesus.

    Jesus is far more experienced and tricky, and is a nightmare for defenders. This is especially true whenever he is allowed to drop deep to receive straight passes through the middle from Saliba.

    This is when our offense is in high gear – Martinelli and Saka exploiting the wings and Jesus, the middle.

    That said, Nketiah is a good option off the bench after the 75 minutes.

  3. My concerns regarding Eddie Nketial have always been the same as Alan Shearer’s observations. Nketiah is often lazy getting back onside after making runs and, as exempified against Everton, he does not read the game to get on the end of crosses into the box. Thierry Henry, Ian Wright or Alan Smith would have scored at least 3 goals against Everton.

  4. Jesus misses bundles of chances too. They are both good in their own way. Nketiah hustles hard for the team, pressures the keeper constantly, surprises defenders with his pace and acceleration, and pulls teams out of shape. He is also just a bit better at finishing than Jesus.
    Just keep rotating them and we’ll see them both bag 10-plus goals this season, hopefully more.

  5. He’s a squad player, yet people expect him score almost every week!

    Saka wasn’t great, and far more is expected from him, so why aren’t we talking about that instead?

    1. Jen, unfortunately Saka has been played into the ground and his form has suffered. If you look at the number of first team and international starts Saka has had at 22 years of age, it is ridiculous.
      Also he is often double or triple teamed and hacked down constantly.

  6. He is a limited player. At 24 he is not suddenly going to jump from mediocre to elite. Arteta’s trust in him is weird. Eddie puts on effort but effort is not enough in a top team without top ability.

    1. Balogun wasn’t going to sign a new contract, and wanted regular football, so we actually didn’t have choice but to sell.

  7. Poor old Eddie, he did no worse than anyone else against Everton. Not his best game but he had NO delivery and he was by passed by the way we tried to play. Jesus replaced him against utd and did well. Jesus did nothing much against Everton when he came on. It was that type of game. It was a poor game by both teams. Slow and no fluency.

  8. Nketiah is what he is, a sub player with occasional moments of quality. He isn’t the type to dribble players, create his own chances and score goals.

    Don’t expect him to play like Jesus or Henry, understand he is a poacher off the bench, and every team needs bench players who understand their roles.

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