Eddie Nketiah says he’s enjoying the chance to learn from Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the duo welcomed the young striker back into the fold after his surprise recall from Leeds United.
The England under-21 international was selected ahead of the Frenchman for the second Premier League game in a row when Everton visited on Sunday and he went on to bag his first senior goal at the Emirates since his debut brace against Norwich in 2017.
Despite the competition to lead the line, Nketiah maintains that the senior duo are proving very helpful on the training ground.
“I just try to focus on myself and learn from them, see the things they do well and try to take from it and improve. They’re always willing to give advice and talk to me whenever I need it.
“It’s great to have two great strikers to learn from. I’m just trying to improve every day and listen to the people around me, my family and coaches, really improve, take each day as it comes and get better.
“Laca is a mature lad and a great player. He did well in the last game he played and he always tries to encourage me. He has been a young player in my position as well so he knows what it is like, there are no hostilities he’s just always looking to help and improve and it shows the maturity he has.
“He has had a great career so all I can do is take the advice he gives me and try and implement it in my game and do what I do best.”
Nketiah’s total tally for the season now stands at seven goals in 24 appearances at a rate of once every 135 minutes. While things may not have worked out at Elland Road – he only completed 90 minutes once – he was thankful for the experience.
“My Leeds experience was good for me, I learned as a player,” he said.
“I might not have played as much as I want but I had good moments when I was there when I came on and played. It’s just about learning and developing.
“It started really well, obviously, I came on and if you check my minutes to goal ratio it’s quite good but obviously it’s just how things are. Sometimes the manager makes his decision and you have to deal with it. It’s about learning from that environment. It’s a very good environment to be in, it’s a very demanding coach and I learned a lot.”
Eddie also saved a few warm words for Mikel Arteta who persuaded him to spend the second half of the season at Arsenal when another loan move looked likely. Having been handed an opportunity to play games, he’s eager to repay the Spaniard’s faith.
“I try to give my all in training and treat it as a game,” he said. “He likes this mentality and obviously the quality I have, I try to showcase that. It’s just about working hard, I’m grateful he’s given me the opportunity he has and I just want to keep learning.
“He’s a great manager and has a real determination to help and improve players, young players and the senior players as well. I just want to keep learning of him, make sure my mentality is right each day and keep improving.”