The 3 scenarios for Eddie Nketiah this season – Which is more likely?

MAKING A CASE FOR EDDIE NKETIAH by Funsho

You’re probably thinking this article was written cos of Eddie’s recent hat-trick for the England U21s vs Kosovo. Well, you’re wrong! This offering has been baking in the writer’s oven for some time now, but time and chance did not synchronise soon enough to get this vanilla cake out for your enjoyment. Anyway, several questions have been asked of our 21-year-old centre forward’s ability to succeed at Arsenal after graduating from kindergarten (uhm! I meant Hale End Academy), and in such an opinionated social media era as this, most have asked for our Number 30 to either be loaned out or sold. This writer believes Edward Keddar Nketiah (a.k.a. Eddie) is good enough to PROGRESS his career at Arsenal, and this will be elucidated in three different scenarios.

Wait a minute! Remember those two goals against Norwich in the League cup with chants of ‘Eddie! Eddie!’ ringing around the stadium? That was probably his introduction to most gooners. Truth is: there may have been some luck on his side (AW probably didn’t make that substitution, hoping the 18-yr-old will turn the game on it’s head) on that marvellous night in 2017, but the boy always had that hunger for goals; no wonder he always asks every Tom, Dick and Harry in the stands to “call me if you need a goal” during his goal celebrations.

Hopefully you noticed this article plans to emphasise the lad’s need for improvement, but honestly, how folks think of binning a guy who scored 16 goals in 15 games and 12 goals in 26 games for the U-18s and U-23s respectively in the 16/17 season is beyond me! Now, that was a joke, cos I see the argument tugging your heart already, “…come off it man! That’s not the same level as top flight football?” True; but why not give him a chance in the first team for 2/3 seasons since he is a consistent goal scorer at every level?

With 2 goals until he equals Francis Jeffers and Alan Shearer’s records for England U-21s, Eddie is a good prospect but not the finished article yet, and you kinda hope he goes the same road as the latter rather than the former. Look, not every player will be quick off the blocks like Jack Wilshere, Matthijs de Ligt or Kylian Mbappe. Nketiah could bloom later (closer to his mid-20s) like Bayern sensation Serge Gnabry, and if not, just sell him. Imagine Gnabry’s market value now…Whoozah! The German’s story makes it easy to plead the case of our British-Ghanaian striker that, ‘maybe he deserves a chance’ as he’s a prolific goalscorer having scored in every competition he’s played-in for the club. So, how could this Eddie Nketiah movie play out from 20/21 season onwards? Please check out each scenario…

Scenario 1: Lacazette stays and hits top form; Eddie is second choice and keeps the Frenchman on his toes.

Laca may have been inconsistent in 19/20, but when in top form, he’s better than Eddie. Even if Eddie kept Laca was on the bench a few times after lockdown, the 5ft 11’ striker is still a rookie learning his trade. If this scenario plays out, the young CF will have to take his chances in the cup ties by the scruff of the neck and cap good performances with goals. He must learn to put chances away like the ones he scuffed (or that Allison saved) in the Community Shield, so the club won’t have to ‘buy Saliba cos Mavropanos isn’t ready’. You get my point?

Scenario 2: Lacazette leaves; Aubameyang stays as LWF, Nketiah consistently plays as CF cos the club couldn’t buy a replacement before October 6th.

While not the most ideal option, a good run of games and goals here and there could help Eddie gain confidence and further improve his game. Let’s face it, this guy’s a goalscorer, and at his age, confidence, belief and encouragement are key to finally seeing him make the cut at a top club like Arsenal. This is where MA and his coaching crew come in. They need to build up Eddie’s game like Raheem Sterling’s, such that he’ll: be more switched on when he gets a chance in tough matches, improve his chance conversion ratio, make better decisions in the opponent’s box and no longer have that dejected ‘defeatist look’ on his face even if he misses a chance. Let them get him to shoot better under pressure, improve his off-the-ball movement, anticipate and read game-plays better, and boldly run with the ball at defenders old enough to be his father. The coaching staff could purify this diamond in the hot furnace of demand and expectation, instead of the club having to spend 50 odd million on similar quality.

Scenario 3: Lacazette leaves; Arsenal buy a new CF like that dude from Celtic—Edouard, and Nketiah remains the team’s second choice striker.

The 22-year-old Frenchman could become world class at Arsenal, but that could reduce Eddie’s chances. And rightly so, cos big teams tend to pursue immediate success, but with Arsenal dilly-dallying on more pressing needs like Aouar and Partey, you have to doubt the recruitment team’s ability to quickly get a replacement if they end up selling Lacazette late in the transfer window.

That takes us back to scenario 2 with Auba and Eddie the only CF options (well, also academy boys like John-Jules and maybe Folarin Balogun). Will these available options be enough? DOUBT IT. Will Eddie do a decent job? THINK SO. Will Eddie score goals? BELIEVE SO. Does he have a good hold up play in him? HMMM…COULD BE BETTER. Can Arteta and his crew successfully adapt Arsenal’s game plan to deliver balls for Eddie in the danger area for him to attack, seeing that he could be an effective fox-in-the-box? MOST ASSUREDLY – YES.

In conclusion, this writer believes Lacazette staying is the most ideal situation for all involved. Being more experienced and improving rapidly as a target man, an in-form Laca is more desirable in Arteta’s set up. Eddie should stay grounded and judiciously utilise every opportunity he gets. And if he keeps chipping in with goals, he could become an even bigger asset to the Gunners’ squad.

Whether he becomes an Arsenal legend or goes elsewhere to make himself a good career, the ball seems to be in Eddie’s court. Hope you make it Eddie!

Really appreciate you reading along…

Funsho.

33 Comments

  1. Maxis says:

    Turns out you didn’t mention Martinelli at all in any of your scenarios.

    1. zTOM says:

      He probably won’t be back until December at best due to his injury though, right?

      These scenarios would at least be applicablefor the first half for the season (and until the next transfer window).

      Otherwise I agree you have to include Martinelli in the rotation at least as he’s probably better on the wing at this stage of his career.

    2. Funsho says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, but few things to note:
      1. Article was mainly about Eddie and his possibilities at Arsenal; hence no mention of him being loaned out.
      2. Article next focused only on out-and-out CFs.
      3. Martinelli is presently injured and may not hit top form until Feb 2021. I may be wrong on that!
      4. Martinelli once claimed he prefers to play on the wings.
      Thus, leaving out Martinelli was not to undermine his talent, but cos he looks more like a cross-breed of Auba (movement and finishing in the box) and Sanchez (good wing play, presses opponents and involvement in build-up play).

      Bottomline: He can play as a CF, but he may play more as a LWF in the future.

  2. Durand says:

    I was going to mention that as well. Martinelli has better finishing and seems more ready for starting than Nketiah.

    1. Atid says:

      Martinelli, nketiah, Nelson, saka, willock, Pepe, smith-rowe, john-jules and balogun (get him involved and he will stay)

      I think we have a great list of attackers to back up the more senior players. There is 9 youngsters there all 24 and under. Add them to aubameyang, lacazette, Willian and dare I say it ozil, we should not even be thinking about new signings in the attacking department. We have 2 almost world class keepers, a world class left back and now a much better choice of centre backs. Now it really is what is our midfield going to look like. Guendozi, torreira, elneny? Na not for me. Xhaka, ceballos and AMN I think we just need one more.

  3. REX KENT says:

    Agree with Maxis. Strange that Martinelli doesn’t come into your thinking. Whatever happens to Lacazette or Nketiah, Eddie will be below Martinelli in the pecking order in 6 months time.

  4. gunnerforlife says:

    Scenario 1 is most ideal. Laca staying put, Eddie improving further on his game and Martinelli recovering from his injury and contributing to the Arsenal cause in the later part of the season. With John Jewels and Bellogen playing for the Arsenal B team and consistently scoring, Arsenal seem to have no shortage as far as firepower upfront is concerned.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Falorin Balogun has refused to sign a new contract and is for sale with offers at or over £8 million.
      A number of clubs in the UK and Germany have shown interest thus far.

  5. Arseni Matemu says:

    Can Gunners utilize both Eddie and Martinelli with Laca as no. one CF choice? Keep them all.

  6. Joe Allysons says:

    Nice article. I think the most ideal scenario for the longer term would be to keep Laca and Auba for the next 2-3 years and give Eddie and Mart less pressure in development. Potentially, a forward line of Pepe, Eddie and Mart would give us a good 5 years.

    1. Siamois says:

      Like I commented, Laca tweeted yesterday that he was staying,yours is not only the best case scenario but the one that MA has decided on .makes complete sense,since Laca has 2 years left and might be given an extension probably 2 years during the planned discussions confirmed by MA and depending on how both Eddie &Martinelli have developed,he will be sold with 1/2 years left on his contract!

    2. Lenohappy says:

      Joe Alyson why would you want the club to keep Lacazette for the next 3 years, a striker who is in his prime but still can’t score up to 15 goals a season, you now want to keep him till he’s 33, brilliant idea.

      1. ahmad73 says:

        Lacazette makes me miss Giroud. He has so far hardly justified his price tag.

      2. zTOM says:

        You’d want Lacazette to sign an extension so he can be sold for good money, not to actually keep him until the end of next contract? 🙂

        Otherwise we’re going to lose ANOTHER expensive player for nothing comes next Summer as he’d enter the last year of his contract.
        That’s something that really killed Arsenal’s squad progress these past years as there’s way less fund to reinvest.

        Lacazette either needs to leave this Summer or sign an extension regardless of our attacking options.

  7. Siamois says:

    yesterday after being asked by an Arsenal fan Laca tweeted STAY👊👌,so looks like he will deputise for him, people forget that Laca injured his ankle in pre-season and played injured for a good while and through the busy schedule, it’s not a coincidence that he started to rediscover his fitness after Dubai and started to score again after the restart,this season with a proper pre -season and no injuries he will be back to his best ,trust me on that!

    1. Lenohappy says:

      Siamois please before Lacazette injury how many goals did he score for us, since we bought Lacazette he has never score 20 goals a season for us and we paid 50million for him, martinelli before his injury scored 10goals. If we end up selling Lacazette we will not miss him at all, we have so many talents upfront.

    2. zackson88 says:

      you are just covering for him. the reason why wenger brought auba is the fact that laca was not doing his task as expected

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    Scenario 4…Martinelli!

  9. GunneRay says:

    Lacazette is not scoring simple goal chances, fact!

    Nketiah and Martinelli have the potential to score more in the box than Lacazette and that is what we needed last season. I like Lacazette a lot but his stats don’t lie.

    Martinelli is the near future and Nketiah is one for the future in my opinion. Nketiah should be the obvious substitution in the 70th minute but Martinelli should start with Auba!

    Just my opinion of course..

    1. GunneRay says:

      Slightly different topic.. Partey looks like he could be the missing link from Arsenal being mid-table team top top four! Check him out on YouTube “Here’s Why Arsenal Want Thomas Partey!”

      With this guy I’m sure the goals will come!!

      1. Maxis says:

        Just took a peep at the video. Very impressive on the ball. Not just a good tackler, but seems he’s got good skills and an eye for a killer pass too. Now, I really wish he joins.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          I have been trying to tell you, Partey is a powerful physical commanding box to box midfielder in the mould of Patrick Viera. He plus a specialist DM like Diawara of AC Roma and Arsenal are right to go.

          1. GunneRay says:

            Totally agree guys. I like the fact that his first impulse is to turn at the opposition and attack. Instead, our midfield gets the ball and the impulse is to pass back! This guy is a must and yes, he reminds me of Viera too!

          2. Sid says:

            Even if we dont get Diawara, I think we will do well. There have been formations where we can play without a specialist Dm, also I think Elneny can become a good DM option.

      2. Mohsan says:

        So are you saying you like him and want Arsenal to sign him because of a small clip you have seen on youtube, every player looks apart on youtube. He is good B2B player but he is not renowned for his goal scoring abilities. I don’t think we will sign him either and I don not agree that signing Partey will make us into top 4 team. If he was that good then why was Ath Madrid so many points away from Real Madrid and that too in defensive setup which completley suits his abilities.

  10. TheLaw says:

    Sell Lactate, move Auba central, let Martineli and Eddie be his back up.

  11. Grandad says:

    An excellent article Funsho.Like you, scenario 1 appeals to me as EN will have plenty of opportunities to fill in for Laca during the season, and depending on his performances he may justify an extended run as the man in possession, much as Martinez has done.As for Martinelli who is unlikely to be fully fit until Jan/Feb next year,he has already made it known that he prefers playing side rather than through the centre.Nketiah has an instinct for being in the right place to score and he is in my view better than any other of our forwards in the air.His decision making is the area which he needs to improve and hopefully with guidance from Arteta and his coaching team he will improve significantly this season.

    1. FUnsho says:

      Thanks for your kind words always, Grandad.

  12. RW1 says:

    Number 3 pls

  13. Highbury Hero says:

    The best scenario would be to sell him. He is our worst forward behind Aubameyang, Lacazette and Martinelli. I don’t understand Mikel preference of him. To bench Lacazette for Nketiah is senseless.

    1. Splendid says:

      👍🙌👏

  14. jon fox says:

    funshus article reads well but it is not what he said but what he omitted to say that jarred. Why no mention of the much missed Martinelli? IF YOU ARE GOING TO COMPARE EDDIE TO THE OTHERS, then Martinelli is an odd omission, I’d suggest!

    Surely he carries more Gooners hopes for the short term (once fit again) AND the long term than promising but still unproven Nketiah?

  15. Mohsan says:

    Only promising youngsters I see at Arsenal are Martenelli, Saka, AMN, ESR and MG rest are just useless n just because they came from our Academy does not mean we need to keep playing them which does not help our cause. There are much better options out there then Nkeitiah hell there are much better options within the team. Sell him.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs