Before lockdown, Eddie Nketiah was starting Premier League games ahead of the vastly more experienced Alexandre Lacazette.

On the resumption of football on Wednesday night, the young striker was again preferred to his more senior colleague, starting at the Etihad in the 3-0 defeat to Man City.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta decided against loaning the 20 year old in January, and has been extremely impressed with him in training, viewing him as a genuine prospect for the future.

Speaking at his press conference this evening, the manager touched on what he’s looking for from him between now and the end of the season.

“I want him to keep doing what he’s doing,” he said. “The way he played last night against those players, in those difficult conditions, for me is extraordinary at his age.

“He has an immense personality to play, confidence, he’s powerful and is developing in every area I think.

“I have a lot of faith in him.”

The financial situation means big money transfers are unlikely this summer, meaning opportunities for young players, something Arteta is open to but in a way which helps get the best out of the them.

“The trick here is to get them with the right environment around them,” he continued.

“Not to put too much pressure on them. We have a really young squad, a very inexperienced squad, and when you put that in certain parts of the pitch very close together, you can see that there are some deficits and the decision-making is not always the right thing to do.

“We are in a position that we have to accept that some things at the moment, in there, probably more than we would like, are going to be like that.

“That’s the circumstances that we have but at the same time it’s great because it’s a great value for them to have these experiences and see themselves playing against that type of opposition.”

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WellArsed

Let’s hope Arteta can effectively manage and nurture young talent because we are going to have to rely heavily on youngsters and the academy in the years ahead.

IamaGoober

Listen — as much as I love the idea of us following this blueprint of the 89 era, where we’re dragged back to the summit of English football, by a load of lads that have made their way up through the youth Academy. Personally I think pursuing that idea is complete pipe dream stuff. It wont bring us success in the modern game. Football has moved on a long way since those days where something like that is possible.   Speaking completely realistically, some sort of ‘Project Youth Mark II’ will probably only make a market for us to sell… Read more »

Frank

I feel sorry for the young players at the moment to be honest. They’re being thrown in with no senior players around them who are of the calibre to help them through it. You need a solid base of a team so you can throw in a few youngsters and they can do their thing, getting helped by the senior pros and getting covered when they make inevitable mistakes. But with the team we have at the moment they’re just completely exposed in every respect, its brutal

IamaGoober

Yeah I feel the same way.   Take a look at Guendouzi as a prime example. Everybody can see the raw talent is there for him to potentially become a top drawer player. But he’s not learning off of anyone at all. He’s being raised as a player by literally nobody in an environment where sloppy mistakes are just seen as the norm. People hugely overlook how important that is for a young player to have a positive role model in the team to learn from.   Look at Fabregas, when he first turned up at Colney, in his position… Read more »

Rocky07

Really excited by Nketiah.
I really hope we can start bringing some defenders from our youth Setup.

OsloGooner

We have some good young strikers at our club.
I hope centerback can be the next position we struck gold with, Zach Medley could be the one.

Homer

Eddie seems to need chances given to him on a platter. A tap in artist. Auba 2.0.   Without a functioning midfield, and no provider – with Ozil not being played b/c Arteta is having a huff and noone else steppin gup – Eddie probably not going to score many goals.   I rate Martinelli higher. He seems to be able to create things from nothing. His touch seems much better. Admittedly, its a small sample size   Perhaps having Bellerin and Tierney both playing, along with Saka, it will change the set up and where chances come from. But… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

Auba n Eddie are so different. He’s a striker in a system, different cogs in a gear system, the first thing you stated about him is he delivers his primary role well. He’ll only get better

Artetas Assistant

Have you seen Eddie totally body bigger defenders? He’s a fast hungry fucker, with that London menace about him, Martinellis body will probably break if he has to try and body 6ft defenders game in game out. Better stealing in from outside with his lithe body and touch

HARRY

I rate Martinelli higher as well he’s just a better all around footballer but Eddie also has his strengths and that’s in the box outside the box he’s not much of a player. His pressing off the ball, positioning off the ball, link up play and ability to play with his back away from goal and holdup play are not good enough. He can’t hold the ball at all and for a striker that is not good at all. This is where I think he needs to improve just running into the box and looking for a tap in or… Read more »

Chippy Brady

Nketiah is obviously talented but the poor boy shouldn’t be holding the line against Man City and shouldering the blame. In an ideal world he would shadow Auba for 2 more years and learn his trade but no this is Arsenal where you either perform as a young talent with no support or waste down your contract where you are sold to Barca/Bayern for no profit and become a world beater in the right environment.

Managanese

Wow! Way to go. Good times at the Emirates.

I see Wenger 2.0 in Arteta.

HARRY

He needs to have some faith in Martinelli as well. At the moment I don’t think it’s fair on Martinelli to be benched by Nketiah when before that Martinelli hasn’t done anything wrong to have his position taken from him by a player who was on loan and could barely break into a championship team for him then to just come in and take his place when he was in fine form doesn’t seem fair for the player or by the manager.

Xzibit

Tactics.

Artetas Assistant

Thank you

loose_cannon

This is the wrong way to look at it. Looking at Arteta’s selections since he came here, he very clearly sees Martinelli as a wide option. I think Martinelli himself said he prefers playing on the wing. So he’s not been benched by Nketiah at all, he’s just behind Auba (and potentially Saka) in the LW slot.

Mpls

I think this is true, but that also means we’ve got too much left and not enough right. A common problem for us.
 
in past years we’d just own that and play all on the left leaving space on the right for a switch field, but we don’t currently have the midfield to support overloading and bossing any part of the pitch.

Dave

Nothing against Nketiah, I think he is a good young player and have potential, but somehow I have more faith in Martinelli. He has shown more whenever he has played than what Nketiah has.

Mpls

Maybe some of this is what we’ve seen as preferences in other areas – the visible, tangible hustle that Martinelli has vs the quiet, but pretty effective Nketiah.   Somebody has got to just be there to tap it in sometimes, and we all know he’s got that talent because we’ve seen it. He also put a bit of scare into City a couple times the other day playing high off the shoulder of their defenders and getting into situations that could on another day be goals.   He could use some buildup play development, but to be honest Martinelli… Read more »

Xzibit

He was up against another 19 year old defender and could not get the better of him. Like come on.

Diaminedave

Gets outrageously fouled and nothing given. Movement in first 30 minutes or so was causing all sorts of problems for city backline.
After first two subs team not as coherent and less service.
Harried and pressed while he was on pitch
Thought he did OK

Faisal Narrage

I have a feeling 90% of fans don’t rate Eddie only because in their mind they’ve already classed Martinelli as the future, even though he’s also quite young and anything can happen (not the first time a youngster has impressed at a young age only to stagnate, see AMN and Iwobi). Not that I’m not rating Martinelli, but that I’m open to both and to see who prevails, and also trust the man who sees them everyday. But fans like to pit our own players against each other, and when their favourite isn’t getting played, they’ll shit on the one… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

I think Eddie is Arsenal no.1 striker for at least a decade. He just needs to get into his own a bit more

loose_cannon

I don’t think Arteta even sees them as competing for the same position right now. The comparisons are bizarre.

Riku

Martinelli is getting better and better by the day ..

HARRY

Tbf IWOBI I think was a class above this lot at the same age he was a much better player than Nketiah, Nelson and Co at the age of 20

Lanre

Arteta just seem to be making all the wrong calls atm. Nketiah above Martinelli and Lacazette, making Xhaka stay, benching Torreirra and now trying to keep Luiz. I really hope to God he doesn’t disappoint because then we would be really fucked. Where would we go from there?

bob

Bloody hell mate, keep it together. Football has oy just restarted! And in a very inhibited way.

Lots of managers will be more likely to experiment with line ups before next season, so maybe let there be more than one match before we denounce Arteta as “making all the wrong calls”.

I’d go one step further and claim that any sort of serious assessment of the managers ability is ridiculous to try until we’ll into next season.

loose_cannon

A bit surprised that people on here are comparing Nketiah to Martinelli when clearly in Arteta’s mind they’re competing for different positions atm; Martinelli for LW (his favoured position) and Nketiah for CF. When Aubameyang was banned for a red card it was Martinelli that stepped in, I think that should show what Arteta thinks of him and explain why he’s not playing atm.   If the argument was that Martinelli should start at LW and Aubameyang CF, then I’d understand that and I actually agree to an extent. But that’s a wider tactical question, comparing Nketiah and Martinelli otherwise… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

I’ll put money on him being big

Mpls

I think they both will. I hope we can keep hold of them and truly see them develop.
 
the immediate challenge for Martinelli will be Saka, who offers way more in wing play in my opinion, with Martinelli seeming in early days like more of a wide striker. Otherwise I think he will need to learn a 9 or 11 style of play.

Nick

Would like to see us sign a target man who can hold the ball up in the summer. Giroud for all his faults was great at holding it up allowing sanchez to thrive from wide.
We dont have an option even on the bench at the moment. and away from home all our strkiers seem to do is chase balls over the top into space.

Cowabunga

Having someone to hold the ball up in the summer is okay I guess, as long as he will do the job when the season starts too.

Nick

errrr good one

Riku

Hope he is .

The Leeds manager who lots of people say is a south American genius , keeps him on bench in championship.

Glad he has got extra muscle , to hold up ball.

My front three would be saka , pea, Pepe, love Martinelli also

Colonel Bergkamp

I think Nketiah can make a contribution but like others have said, he’s not yet ready to single handedly make a difference. No service and no proper partnership up top means no shots on target for us which is unacceptable for a club like ours aspiring to be pushing for a European place in the table and regardless of the Luiz factor and calibre of opponent in our last match. Man City’s defence is hardly the best but they are organised and confident and the rest of the unit in midfield and up top are efficient and ruthless. I think… Read more »

karl

I found it really hard to judge Eddie at City because he barely had any service. It wasn’t for the lack of effort though.
 
Let’s hope he gets another runout at Brighton where he will probably get some chances.