Surely Arsenal fans should now start trusting Eddie Nketiah to be a regular starter?

Arsenal beat visiting Nottingham Forest 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium in their 2022–23 Premier League opener. The Gooners were keen to see who would lead the attack with main man Gabriel Jesus out injured.

Everyone had an opinion of who was to lead the attack between Kai Havertz, Leandro Trossard, and Eddie Nketiah, as fans are always quick to voice their opinions, especially when it comes to their team’s performance. As usual, there were many Arsenal fans who voiced the opinion that Eddie simply isn’t good enough to be an Arsenal starter.

But Arteta, who knows best, settled on Eddie Nketiah as his point man.

Fortunately, Nketiah repaid Arteta’s trust, scoring Arsenal’s first goal of the season just moments before the half-hour mark, striking home from eight yards after good work by Gabriel Martinelli, the ball taking a deflection off Joe Worrall on its way past Matt Turner.

Moments later, Bukayo Saka doubled Arsenal’s lead. The Gunners didn’t score again but conceded in the 82nd minute.

Nketiah will no doubt lead Arsenal’s attack in the following few weeks; he’s just proved he’s worth it, like he stated last week: “Yeah (I did answer doubts last season), but I don’t think I’m here to fill in for anyone.

“I’m here to play and contribute to the team, obviously. I believe in my abilities, and I know I can contribute.

“I pride myself on always being ready, and whatever role the manager needs me to fill, I will always make sure I do my best so I can help the team — that’s what it’s all about.

“The manager has got a tough decision, and whenever he calls me, he knows I can deliver, and I can help the team.”

Even after the win, many fans still don’t want Eddie to be a regular starter, but surely, With Nketiah, can we now consider Arteta’s Arsenal attack to be in safe hands?

Darren N

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Tags Arsenal v Nottingham Forest Nketiah


  1. I think the real question should be, “why doesn’t the manager trust him to be a starter when everyone is fit?”

    There’s a lot of virtue signalling going on with Eddie but my question is why doesn’t he ever get a run of starts when everyone is fit?

    1. Because he is a backup striker at best. He has improved a lot from the days he was only a poacher but still not good enough to lead a title challenging team.

      Jesus is a great striker for our system but even then he can and should be replaced if a better option comes along so what chance does nketiah have.

      1. Heard this Nketiah argument for 4 years now aye? It’s great he scored, but he will dry up like he always has, fail to have a consistent impact like he always has.

        Then people will go silent again, realize he isn’t at a level to sustain his place, and the conversation will revert to “patience,” “potential,” and the usual nonsense.

        Still rather have Osimen over Jesus, Nketiah, and Havertz.

    2. Because he isn’t in the technical league of Jesus….. He is however a very good finisher.

      Not exactly rocket science.

      1. Exactly my point Jaymee, it’s not rocket science 🙂

        Why should Arsenal fans trust him to be a regular starter then?

  2. Eddie will score goals for Arsenal. Yes he will miss sitters that a world class striker would put away, but lets put somethings’ into context here. He is a 15m valued English striker who presses, chases lost causes and can finish. He isn’t great in the air , nor does he have creativity and dribbling skills, but he is fast, and his hold up play as improved. He should be a 3rd choice striker for a club like Arsenal, not the main man. Whilst alot of our fan base are clamouring for Balogun , I don’t see much of a difference in him or Nketiah apart from you will receive a bigger transfer fee as Balogun scored 22 goals. If Eddie was at Reims, he probably would have scored 22 as well. Jesus won’t get us 20 this season, and the less we say about Havertz the better. I think like most Arsenal fans say , we should re-invest the money received from balogun in a new striker.

    1. Last season he was third choice. He came in when Jesus was injured but Trossard took the place off him. I think he is marginally getting the place over Trossard now probably because Trossard will always get opportunities playing wide whereas Eddie needs a break. He showed he deserved that break but a poor performance and he will be dropped down again.

  3. Diminutive CFs like Nketiah, Balogun and Jesus could start in some games to tire the opposition’s defenders out, using their stamina, pace and work rate

    But we still need someone like Havertz, Osimhen or Vlahovic to play against high ball-possession teams with dominant CBs like Man City/ Liverpool/ Brighton and to change our attacking methods in the second half

      1. I mean he’s very small as compared to the likes of Giroud, Mitrovic, Haaland, Havertz, Osimhen and Vlahovic

    1. Gai, I agree with you, I saw how Chelsea have Liverpool backline a torrid time yesterday because of his height and stamina. I believe that’s one of the reasons Arteta bough Havertz but unfortunately Havertz goals return upfront have diminished. I hope he gets better under Arteta coaching.

      1. Jackson looked very strong in his YouTube highlights before he moved to Chelsea, so I’m not surprised if his physicality made Liverpool’s CBs struggle

  4. No. He is a mediocre player that will be a starter maybe in 2-3 EPL teams. It is beyond me how anyone can see him play and think otherwise. He can’t press, dribble, holdup, or create chances for himself or others. his technique is poor both in the first touch and in finishing. He is a poacher but only scores 1 in 3-4.
    He plays for a very attacking team so he is bound to score a few goals, as every striker in the top 2 tires would. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves every time he gets one.
    But if we want a decent run in ELP and UCL we need a much better striker than him.

  5. Eddie is a good poacher and has proven he has an eye for goal, but he simply isn’t good enough generally speaking. I think he could probably get 10-15 goals a season for a team like Brighton, where he would play all the time and they play fast attacking football and create lots of chances but for a team like ours, where we look to dominate possession and basically camp out in the opponent’s half, he doesn’t offer quite enough.

    Look at how Alexander Isak demolished Villa at the weekend or how many problems Nicholas Jackson caused against Liverpool. Eddie just can’t do that. Eddie’s playing style reminds me a lot of Ian Wright’s but he lacks the nasty streak that Wrighty had that made him a top class striker.

  6. When it comes to finishing chances, Eddie is better than Jesus. How many chances does Jesus need to score? 5 or 6. Eddie? 2 or 3. When it comes to hard pressing, technical ability, and chance creation ,Jesus is ahead of Eddie. So, it depends on which opposition we are playing against. I will choose Eddie in most games over Jesus.

  7. If it’s not Nketiah or Havertz, it will be another professional who the fans latch on to as being substandard .White ,who was excellent last season seems to be the latest to get the flack for his apparent role in the goal we conceded, when others such as Saliba, Gabriel , Martinelli and Ramsdale seem immune to criticism .All I would say concerning Nketiah, is he is a good, hard working forward who’s excellent running off the ball causes real problems for the opposition.Of course his critics are only interested in their perception of what a “world class” striker is and why we do not have one at Arsenal.The fact is, there are currently very few on the planet who fulfil that description .If they were abundant I’m pretty sure our recruitment team would have identified someone who might just appease the wrath of the anti Nketiah/ Havertz brigade.

    1. I tend to agree with your point.Many on here keep clamoring for the so called world class striker but if you ask them to suggest a player,they go quiet because there aren’t any that are available in the market for realistic prices. Some mention Vlahovic but then you realise that Vlahovic actually had fewer goals than Jesus last season ,despite the latter missing many games due to injury. Vlahovic also made it clear in the past,according to reports,that he didn’t want to come to Arsenal. Why would Arsenal want such a player? Some are suggesting Osimhen but Napoli won’t sell for anything less than 150m euros which is outrageous given the amount the club has already spent.

      1. I don’t think we need a world-class striker, we just need a significant improvement on Eddie, someone who can intimidate defenses.

        1. Ox,and who is that. Who is this scary monster who is going to intimidate defenders? Care to give a name ?
          And if you think Eddie is not good enough,what do you think of Trossard and Havertz? Both of them are options too that can be used there depending on the opposition. I thought Havertz did fairly well against City in the first half of the Community Shield against some the best defenders in the League. Trossard did well last season in the absence of Nketiah and Jesus ,earning player of month trophy in the process. I just find it odd that people are focusing on Nketiah when he’s not the only option.Nketiah himself won us the game against a stubborn Man United defence last season – against the scary and intimidating(to use your words) Lisandro Martinez

          1. For me, I like Trossard as striker in the absence of Jesus. If he is given a free role, he can give defenders a headache, and he is not a bad finisher. Having said that, the way we play, and if Jesus comes back this month, Nketia might do the job a backup is expected to do. I didn’t look it up or count, but when I watched a video of the goals of Balogun it looked like 6 or 7 of his goals were penalties. Still impressive but …

          2. Good points.
            Clearly one of the more sensible posters on here. Also, one who has a good understanding of modern football.
            It’s very clear that there are very few top class strikers that can be suggested to “guarantee” 20 goals plus a a season. Yet we have fans on here regularly diminishing the efforts of players like Nketiah without offering up viable alternatives.

    2. @Grandad – agree with you on all accounts.
      + Nketiah is still young and can continue to improve.

  8. Last season Eddie came in and had the sort of run where most fans said he was doing a decent job filling in but the problem is that we need squad players to come in and put in the sort of performances where Arteta does not want to drop them. He took his goal well on Saturday but needs to keep that up in every game if he hopes to keep that place when Jesus is fit.

    1. Keep what up? He had not such a good game, against not a top team. except for the goal do you remember any other positive thing he have done?

      1. Ox if Nketiah had such a bad game,then why did he get the kind of applause he got from fans in the stadium as he came out of the pitch? Why were they chanting Eddie! Eddie ! I thought he had a good game besides the goal,dropping deep at times to collect the ball and combining well with Martinelli

      2. Forest played a very defensive game and you expect Nketiah to have many touches, whereas I had Haaland had just 9 touches against Burnley.
        Nketiah is a backup striker like Alvarez is to City.
        Did Alvarez score more than Eddie last season?
        Let’s learn to appreciate what we have not compare our back up striker to world best strikers

  9. One goal don’t make a summer. Arsenal is in need of a solid striker as much as Tottenham Hotspurs. Why not get one?

  10. It is not as simple as just trusting a player, a player has to show a pattern of consistency of outstanding performance in their all game play.

  11. If The Arsenal were to put Nketiah on the transfer list tomorrow, what would be his value and would any of the top six PL clubs be interested in him?

    Meanwhile, Balogun is valued at, reportedly, between £30-50 million and (again reportedly) we have lots of interest.

    1. Ken to answer your question,I believe most of the top sides would take Nketiah as a back up which is what he is at Arsenal. I think many people are missing the point by comparing Nketiah to the preferred starting strikers at these clubs. At Tottenham,for instance,they had Richarlison,last as back up who managed just one goal in over 25 appearances. Chelsea basically had no striker. Their top scorer was Havertz. Man United relied on Weghorst who was abysmal – only managing two goals. That leaves Newcastle and Manchester City as the only sides with a back up who outperformed Nketiah.
      Finally to answer your question on price. There are lots of things that determine price such as age and length of contract. We gain nothing by bringing down our players. It only hurts their confidence. Let’s get behind whoever wears the Arsenal shirt.

      1. Believe most sides would, but yet no proof or the slightest interest shown by top clubs.

        Balogun drawing interest, even Tomiyasu and Tierney drawing interest, yet nothing on Nketiah. I only heard about Crystal Palace when Nketiah’s contract was running out.

        The mere fact that he plays when injuries hit the squad should tell you something. Trossard was a far better option and produced. Why? Because he can dribble, pass, assist, and create his own chances; none of which Nketiah can do.

        That’s why he rarely plays and no top half club has shown any interest in his transfer.

        1. Durand, interest doesn’t really mean anything. No team has shown any interest in White,or Ramsdale or Martinelli either. That doesn’t mean no team would take them.The point I was making is that he performed better than all back ups of the top half sides bar City,Liverpool and Newcastle – this is a fact you have not refuted. There are many reasons why many top half teams haven’t shown interest – main reason being they can’t afford him. He’s on a long term contract and relatively high wages. I’m sure Tottenham(who is their back up?), Brentford,United,Villa,Brighton could use Nketiah as an option if they could afford it. Chelsea too due to Nkunku’s long term injury.
          For perspective,many here claim Tierney is one of the best LBs in the League ,yet there aren’t any top sides lining up for his signature. That doesn’t mean he’s not a quality player- most probably teams are put off by his price tag and high wages.

      2. But the question being asked in the article, Onyango, is can he be trusted to be a starter…. plainly the answer seems to be NO from your post (and many others as well).
        That’s why, in my opinion, the likes of city, pool, chelsea, newcastle, united wouldn’t be in their thoughts.
        Is he really good enough for The Arsenal as our main striker?
        Not in my opinion and he shouldn’t be keeping the likes of Balogun and Trossard out either.
        But that’s what MA gets paid to do and I’ll always support any player who wears the shirt, that’s for certain.

        1. Ken it’s true he’s not done enough to prove he can be a regular starter when everyone is fit. Perhaps the author meant starter in the context of being the preferred choice in the absence of Jesus who we all know is the main guy at the moment .Whether Trossard should be starting ahead of him is debatable. I would argue that Trossard would be the better fit when we are playing against less physical sides. Trossard is technically better,but Nketiah is better at playing with the goal to his back. In the absence of Jesus,I would pick Nketia against a team like Aston Villa whereas I would pick Trossard against Brighton.

          As for Balogun,he’s completely unproven in the Epl . You simply can’t tell if he’ll perform better than Nketia. It is a different League in France. Lacazette who didn’t score much at Arsenal scored more than Balogun in Ligue 1. At the moment,there’s just no way of knowing until he plays

          1. Sorry to be padantic Onyango, but the article does say “regular”.

            As for chanting any players name means they are supporting them, that’s what any real supporter would do isn’t it?

            Balogun? Until the player is given the opportunity with an extended run in the PL, how will we know?

            It seems that many other clubs / managers are seeing his potential and I feel he has to be given a chance.

  12. MA plays him because he’s a real hard worker who always gives 100%. He is not a top class striker nor will he ever be one and has had numerous chances to prove otherwise. Head scratcher this one, could be our weak spot this season when you see who fills that position at Man City!!!

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