Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Eddie Nketiah when questioned on the forward’s chances of starting in the Premier League against Burnley after impressing in the Europa League win against Dundalk.
The 4-2 win against the Irish outfit on Thursday night marked Nketiah’s fifth goal of the season, making him the club’s top scorer across all competitions so far this term.
Arteta stated in his pre-match preview that it was the 21-year-old’s ‘hunger’ and ‘ability’ to score goals ‘consistently’ was the reason that himself and the club decided against loaning Nketiah out this season.
The Spaniard added that Nketiah is performing ‘really well’, noting the solid performance against Dundalk, but refusing to state whether he’d feature against the Clarets in a must-win game.
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“Since we decided to keep Eddie at the club and not send him on loan, the main reason was because we saw his hunger and we saw his ability to score goals consistently.”
“He’s been doing that since he joined the first-team, he’s performing really well, last night again he was a threat all the time and he has chances like everybody else to start the game on Sunday.”
Nketiah has now contributed 12 goals in 54 appearances for Arsenal’s first-team, which is much better than it comes across (it’s good for a young players regardless) as a lot his action has come as a substitute, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette largely leading the line.
With the Londoner smashing the England Under-21s record held by legends Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers, it’s clear that he’s a natural goalscorer.
Considering that Arsenal have lost five of their last seven Premier League games, largely owing to their lack of creativity and thus goals, Nketiah deserves a chance at least to start against Burnley.