‘People are always going to say things’ Nketiah defends himself after criticism

Eddie Nketiah has responded to the criticisms Arsenal received after they handed him their number 14 shirt.

The striker was expected to leave the club at the end of this month after running down his deal at the Emirates.

However, Mikel Arteta convinced him to stay on a new long-term deal at the club.

The former England Under-21 record goal-scorer has now penned a new five year deal, and the club changed his squad number to 14.

Considering that Thierry Henry made history with that shirt and Nketiah has never been a prolific attacker for the club, some fans were unimpressed by the decision to hand him the number.

But he has defended himself. He tells The Telegraph: ‘When you get a run of eight games in the first team, you get that database and platform to show everything you can do.

Adding: ‘People are always going to say things, but I know what I can do. The people that have played with me, played against me, the coaches that have worked with me, I know how they feel about me.

‘Every team needs a squad to compete. The club is always looking for ways to strengthen. They have extended my deal and they have done so for a reason.’

Just Arsenal Opinion

Nketiah showed his potential in the last few games of last season, and we can see that he can do a job when he gets the chance to do one.

Now that he has the shirt number, what he needs to do now is to focus on developing his game and scoring more than enough goals next season.

If he gets a few goals in, he would shut the mouths of his critics for good.

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  1. I dont care what shirt number he has. Its what he can or can’t do that counts. He has been given a very generous contract for what he has done so far. He needs to step up significantly to start to justify it.

  2. Yaya Sanogo scored 1 PL goal for Arsenal in 3 seasons. Danny Wellbeck scored 16 goals over 5 seasons and cost 16mill in 2014 = to 25mill today. Pepe who cost 72 mill scored 1 PL goal last season. Eddie therefor is a Yaya Sanogo who scores goals and is not so injury prove or a vastly cheaper Wellbeck or even cheaper Pepe. On that basis Eddie who cost the club nothing should score 1 PL goal per season

    1. So true. Very well said. We need 1 goal per season per player except the keeper and all trophies will be ours.

    2. Fairfan, your demo will be mocked by many, but i mostly agree with the meaning. Pepe contract was basically (fee+salary) 100m/5 years, as was laca one (100/5years). Eddie, 31m/5 years is a great deal for him AND the club. He is young, honegrown and hi willingness to work hard can only make him better. And even if scoring 4 goals a season in the end, he/we will find suitors in the next 2 years for him. So i hope people can do maths and start backing him.
      We made worse worse business in the last years. And still arsenal “fans” cant keep complaining about his contract or shirt number or whatever. Come on. We cant invest 50m transfer fee and pay 200k per week on 20 players, and especially back up one like the role eddie might have (at least at first). I 100% him. We pay him some money, that is true. He might not make any progress, true too. But as i said, even if that worse case scenario happens, and we sell him 13m in 1,5 years, after 3 goals, he will have cost around ZERO through this contract !!!! Yes ZERO. 1,5 years salary, 5m bonus but 13m profit, makes ZERO !

      1. That’s the finances of this one deal, but what about the knock on effects – what does that say to our current and future players about how we deal with their contacts? (Just run it down your deal and we’ll give you a massive contract to stay?) What about all the players on less money who contribute more to the team? Aren’t they going to want more and more? We’re back to the old norm – I thought we wanted to reduce the wage bill, and not just for financial reasons

        1. I hear all your arguments but which solutions would you have ? 1) a player well paid that does not perform the more… well, it has happened everywhere all the time (ramsey at juve etc…) Every club experience that. Not a new thing. What about auba with bonus 300k or whatever when saka was on a 40k ? Ozil before etc… ok the club wants to change that. Nketiah is “only” on 100k per week i would say at 22yo. So we’ll see, he has to proved himself. 75k would have been maybe better but again… Thats the financial situation. 2) Did you have, if he left, a better solution ?! Go after someone for a 10m fee and 50k per week, that likes the club like eddie ? Why not… Maybe there is someone like that. Would he have been better than Nketiah?! ( that will, again, cost NOTHING if we sell him, i showed that). So him or go spend 10/15m on a second option striker ?! Loose and waste time while we have to buy a 1st option and some other players around the field… (Maybe an option i saw was eddie leaving and oromoting Balogun, what happened last year but it seems MA is not convinced yet. 3) you say it shows you can just run down your contract to be rewarded.. i dont agree. First, yes you can do that, but every player wont do that because your form can slip, you can grab a career threatening injury etc… And even when you do that, you have to be sure that you are on a strong run and that it will help you negotiate a good deal. And this will happen if there is not really (again market rules) better for the same investment… So i dont see it as that bad a signal. Nketiah is a hard worker. Not the most talented but a hard worker. And i am sure some other players would notice that. And if he really does not prove anything, again, he is someone who wants to play first so he will leave the club soon and not
          try to ransom it and stay until the end, like others might have did. Nketiah did not want to sign until seeing game time and WE did not want to get rid of him for 15m last summer. Again these are circumstances. We could debate for ages. I agree that 100k seems some money if true. But he was not the least deserving ever. would it have been better for supporters to accept if it was 10m signing bonus and 80k per week ??! At least with 100k, it is money not due if he is sold… What about if eddie went to another club for free this summer and score 11 PL goals lets say next year ?! maybe some people would have slam the club to not have done enough to keep him. So yeah thats my point. Now, the ball is on eddie’s side to prove all the doubter wrong. I am not sure too that he will succeed and be a 25 goals per season machine, but at least we will have tried, he will have saved lot of money to improve some other areas. And if we even get that 10+ goals per season as a good back up, it will end up being a very good signing for the club and a better one than pepe or laca that did not do any better than that.

          1. The solution is to have some principles and stick to them. He hasn’t done enough to earn 100k pw, so don’t offer that – offer something reasonable, probably 50k, and if he doesn’t want something like that, say goodbye.
            If he, or anyone else, proves everyone wrong next season, then offer him/them more and show that we reward success, not potential success. It’s not rocket science, it’s just about having structure and principles, otherwise things get out of hand, like with Ozil

    3. Henry came for 13m and scored tonnes of goals, anelka for 1m, adebayor for 8m, RVP for something small, but then alexis was something like 40m, aubamayeng 60m? So the price neither guarantees results, nor prevents them
      (I don’t think the numbers are right but ballpark)

      1. Be careful because the price of henry in 1999 cannot be compared with the one of alexis 15 years later. At the time he came for a strong fee. But of course youngsters that you develop cost less than costly older/proven players that sometimes even fail to deliver. Look at 97m lukaku

        1. I 5hink Lukaku was more like 110m with signing on and appearance fees and so on. But it shows that the move was motivated by agent commission as much as anything. Lukaku didn’t even want to sign for Chelsea now he’s back at inter, complete shambles the man just isn’t a premier league player

        2. True – he wasn’t cheap at the time, but he wasn’t so expensive either; sort of mid level transfer. It doesnt really matter, you could put him in the auba camp if you want and the point is the same

  3. I reckon most reasonable minded Gooners s will wish the best of luck for this modest hard working player , even though he still has a long way to go to convince MANY on here.

    Sometimes, a manager needs to back a fast growing talent and hope he goes all the way. He certainly does still have a long way to go.


    1. Nketiah is hardworking and runs around a lot without accomplishing much.

      He scored some goals at season’s end, but didn’t help us in top 4 and adding goals. Why people focus on a handful of games and gloss over the previous years he was at Arsenal is a valid question.

      “He needs starts or a chance” well he did on loan at Leeds and was dropped. Has he improved since then? Don’t really see it on the pitch, but I agree he runs around a lot.

      1. Spot on Durand…what did those same individuals have to say about Willock’s purple patch?…for me this was nothing more than a budgetary move, as there were even rumours swirling about maybe re-upping Laca too, before he forgot how to score goals…now, for me, I would have cut the cord and reinvented our Striker position, but I get the financial complications of choosing such a course of action…that said, I wouldn’t have offered Eddie those inflated wages, then paid above the number for another Striker, albeit a considerably more accomplished one, who doesn’t provide us with the required tactical flexibility

    2. Agreed Jon I wish Eddie all the best for the new season.

      Let’s not forget he’s 3 years from the start of his peak years, which a 5 year contact will see him into. Its very clever business from Arsenal he has 3 years to develop into his natural form cycle (which Jesus is just beggining at 25 years old). So if Eddie can net 10 to let say 20 goals across all competitions which is a realistic target, up until year 3 of his contract well have a very valuable player on the books.

  4. Eddie has that knack of being in the right spots , just his finnishing let him down.
    I always viewed him as an Ian Wright type so i expect him to do very well , and as for the number , that’s what’s wrong with us fans , to busy looking at the past and not the future.

    1. I agree. And many people forget ian wright played in second tier football until 24/25. And agree for the past.

    2. Spot on I see his as more of a wrighty striker and the number nonsense who cares. 14 was great when Henry was in it, Keown had it before Henry, Adams wore 6 nobody cares when Gabriel took that on, same as Martinelli taking on our Dutch masters number of 11 in RVP and Overmars.

      A number is the for any player it’s his job to add to the history of that number. Its Eddie’s chance to make good on the sulky underperforming previous 14

  5. Really respect his attitude. I’m not convinced by his ability still, but he has shown improvement and with his attitude and approach, I wouldn’t bet against him continuing to get better and proving me wrong in the long run. Just think he has the mentality of a top player (and maybe that’s why arteta has backed him)
    Don’t think I’ll ever be convinced that the contract was the right call though, even if Eddie does turn out a success, but that’s an aside more to do with the way the club is run than it is Eddie as an individual

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