Thursday, February 22, 2024

Emery tells Nketiah to focus on Arsenal

Unai Emery says he’s very happy with Eddie Nketiah’s ‘young energy’ and thinks the England under-21 international has a chance to make an impact for Arsenal this season.

The striker, who was recently promoted to the first team, has enjoyed the club’s pre-season tour so far scoring the winner in a nine-minute cameo against Bayern Munich before bagging a brace against Fiorentina last night.

While the boss admitted that Nketiah had enquired about the possibility of going on loan, something that nearly happened last January, he revealed he’s told the player to focus starting the season at the Emirates.

“I’m really happy,” replied Emery when asked about the Academy graduate in his post-game press conference.

“Last season in small moments when we could give him chances to be on the pitch, he did very well.

“I can confirm his progress and we want this progress with every player. Each player has the opportunity to show this capacity and above all first is a very good attitude.

“After this is that the young players need experience and they need to take minutes and to have confidence playing with us.

“The young energy is very important, especially Eddie Nketiah, he is playing and progressing very well.”

Nketiah came very close to a loan move to Bundesliga side Augsburg last season only for Emery to veto the decision due to a lack of back-up for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette.

Naturally, the youngster is eager to gain more experience, hence a similar conversation taking place this summer, but Emery has faith that game time can be earned without leaving the Emirates.

“Last year in December we were thinking of loaning him to Germany. We decided he would stay with us to train and progress with us.

“We started this pre-season with the same idea as we finished last year – stay with us. And my idea is that if you progress like we are seeing from you, you can have a chance here for us.

He added: “I spoke with him and with the club. He has started with a doubt if it is better for him to stay here with us or leave to play more minutes with another team.

“But we have examples last year of some players who wanted to go away and didn’t play all we wanted. I said to him to first be focused here.

“If you earn the right to be with us it’s because I can promise you that you are going to have minutes. But in those minutes you need to learn. And in the pre-season at the moment he’s playing like we want.

“The young players who are here, this is the moment for them to show how we can use them to help us in the season.”

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Pretty good third choice striker to have around especially given his youth. Lovely composure for the first goal!


Give him some minutes and I think he will do very well. It’s over 20 years since Anelka broke through the scene at Highbury. If he can do it, Nketiah should too. Hope Unai gives him a chance.

Dave Cee

Neat turn and finish. Hope Eddie and a few others can make a real impact this season


Finally our fox in the box?

DB10s Air Miles

Well there is boomerang…..

Mick Malthouse

We need to still buy 4 players and then play the kids along side them as much as possible. I don’t want to see Mhiki, Elneny or Ozil coming on after 70 minutes to influence the game – rotate the kids and if we lose, we lose – but they get experience.

Gooner Sam

Him and Willock are looking like the real deal in preseason, they definitely deserve a chance in the EPL


He deserves a shot, working along side Laca and Auba in training will only make him better ??

Naija Gunner

Am still baffled and bloody confused as to why Wenger bought Sanogo?

Naija Gunner

I know it’s in the past but I haven’t gotten over it whenever I see all our super academy graduates doing so well with the senior team

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Because Akpom wasn’t a super graduate enough at the time and Sanogo was doing very well for France’s U20.

Andy Mack

He was free, so no ‘buying’ involved.

Another Paul

Check out his scoring rate at underage level for France


That and it seemed AW was looking for the ‘next Adebayor’. Yaya had the tools– but his progress stunted just below PL-level.


His contribution in the FA Cup final was important. He was a big lad and created space for runs into the box for others. Re-watch that final and you’ll he was worth that free transfer.

He was a decent player, simply not Premier league standard player.

forest gooner

But he did certainly terrified Bayern in that infamous mesut ozil’s missed penalty game.


Hard working, explosive and composure in front of goal.
Looking forward to watching him progress in the up coming season.


Eddie has got Welbeck’s role for the upcoming season. Or should get it.

Man Manny

Yes, he might well be our third striker, but he is more of a second Lacazette than a Welbeck replacement for me.
Welbeck was the closet Giroud-esque striker we had; good in the air, and good link up play. I believe his absence that affected us a bit last season. All we had were cutbacks when crosses would have helped to bring variety to our attack.


We don’t have anything close to a big centre forward in the squad now, with Nketiah as a Laca understudy and perhaps Martinelli as a Auba understudy there is a lack of variety. Giroud was invaluable off the bench (although unhappy with that role – he has pretty much continued in that role for Chelsea)

Tanned arse

As long as he’s trusted I think he should stay. But that also means he should get plenty of minutes. Any of these young guys who we consider capable of contributing should be given actual game time which includes in the league amongst our best players so they can genuinely develope. As a side note, having played in this pres-eason alone and getting some exposure, the value of all those youngsters has gone up. They’ve instantly become saleable assests (not to suggest that’s what we do but) even burton and olayinka would probably fetch £5m on the potential they’ve shown.… Read more »


Lol. You’re talking about the same Club that sold Adobe and Akpom for 2mil apiece


We really blew it with Adobe, must be worth billions now

Goner McGoonFace

LMAO! Unintentional tech humor. I love it!


Seems to have UE’s trust. He also chases the the ball hard up top like Welbz did defensively. That he doesn’t bang in goals with shin, shoulder, or hips– gives Eddie the edge over what Danny provided IMO. 😉


Yeah, we are rubbish at selling, I won’t get your hopes up.

Can’t even give away Elneny or Jenkinson never mind Mustafi or Ozil on high wages.

As I mentioned, they should have alternatives like Chambers or Mhkitaryan in lieu to make up for some income.

BUT the younger players we have haemorraged for some time.

The one that particularly irks me was Gnabry whom we loss bc we did not force the Ox to sign and ended up losing BOTH instead.


Obviously young players need to be loaned out to get experience that they can’t necessarily get at their club. However, we’ve had a very bad record (albeit under the previous management team) of loaning out players and hardly ever bringing them back to see what they can do here. They were just loaned out time and again then released or sold for small amounts. A waste of time all round, really. Let’s hope that Emery gives the young players a chance (although the evidence of, say, Bielik, isn’t encouraging).


Not all should be loaned out.

Mavropanos I feel should to accelerate his development. Critically, he will be afforded opportunity to make his mistakes and learn elsewhere and not at our expense.

Willock, Nelson I feel should be within first team now.

Ditto fast Eddie with Welbeck gone.

Martinelli, Burton and Saka can feature in secondary competitions and early europa games but may well do with loans second half of season if they are possible to engineer.


He’s earned his spot in first squad if you ask me. He has a pure instinct for where the goal is. he’s added calmness to his game and looks the natural finisher we need. Even with the healthy tally of goals we had last season, Auba and Laca were wasteful on many occasions we needed to put away chances to establish dominance in matches. And there is a direct co-relation between not taking our chances (putting away teams) and the porous back line we have. The less we punish teams and demoralise their belief, the more they come at us… Read more »


The other player that has impressed me is Martinez in goal.

Will need him to be sharp and to push Leno and he looks the part.


It’s a good deal for Nketiah only if he gets Welbeck’s minutes. I don’t see it happening if Everton/Zaha is on the cards. He should push for senior football for his own sake.

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