Mikel Arteta has reiterated his desire to see Eddie Nketiah sign a new deal at Arsenal and says the striker’s hat-trick against Sunderland is further proof that he has “a smell fo goals” and is developing in the right way.
On a night when the visitors flirted with an unlikely comeback, Nketiah’s ruthlessness inside the six-yard box calmed Gunners nerves as we eventually ran out 5-1 winners to seal a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
All three strikes were classics of the Nketiah oeuvre, involving excellent anticipation, quick movement and first-time finishes.
Given Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang’s continued absence and an upcoming trip to the African Cup of Nations, Arteta now hopes to reward 22-year-old with more games.
“Yes, recently he’s played more minutes than in the past and we’re going to need him and he’s going to play more minutes,” the Spaniard told his post-game press conference.
“I tell you every day that we want to keep Eddie,” he added.
“We see how he trains, that’s what he does every day, he works so hard and puts the ball in the net every session. I am really delighted with him. Every time we have needed him he has always responded.”
Out of contract in the summer and free to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from 10 days time, the odds are stacked against Arsenal when it comes to getting the attacker to pen new terms.
That said, with Auba on the naughty step, Alex Lacazette also out of contract and Flo Balogun still raw, Arteta hasn’t given up hope.
“We are trying,” he said. “It’s not about anything else but minutes. He wants game time, he wants to be on that field and that is the only reason to say, ‘Can I do it here?’ That’s the question. We all want him to stay.”
“I don’t know if he’s different to our other strikers but I really like what he has. He has an incredible work rate, he has pace and has the smell for goals.
“He has the capacity to finish in the box on any surface and then I really like his character. He wants to be the best and works all the time to do that. He’s a player that has come through our system and that’s why we want to keep him.”
For his part, Nketiah is rightfully chuffed to have a first senior hat-trick to his name. The Carabao Cup has been kind to him, it was also the competition in which he scored his debut goals off the bench against Norwich in 2017.
“It’s amazing,” he told Arsenal.com. “It’s great to go through to the next round, and obviously lovely to score a hat-trick in the process.
“I am just really grateful to my teammates for the assists, and grateful to be out there to contribute.
“It’s a different feeling [to my debut against Norwich] but that night will always live long as a special memory. It’s another one to add to the collection and obviously, it’s nice to get my first senior hat-trick and now I’m looking for and hungry for more.
“My family were here watching and to share that moment with the supporters is great for me, and the boys have signed [the match ball] so I will keep it and remember it. It’s a good moment.”
Happy for Eddie to stay. Not too gutted if he leaves either.
He’s a great poacher and great to have him in the squad but at the same time understand he wants and deserves a lot more minutes.
I think Auba’s situation will play a significant factor for him staying and extending contract. If we let both Auba and Laca go, then he has a chance to be our second choice striker behind whichever striker we buy in the summer. Right now, with Auba’s current situation we are making it a little more difficult for Eddie to make decision which is a good thing. It will also depend on Balogun and how he does on loan and whether he will be ready by next season. Also don’t forget Mika Biereth, i think he probably be better than both… Read more »
The problem is the mentality we have as fans. We look at everything as starting 11 or should leave the club. Look at Jota and firmino and even Origi. We would be saying Firmino can go since Jota offers more. Similarly look at how city use Bernado, KDB, Foden, Mahrez, Jesus, Torres and Grealish. They all don’t start but play enough games with different attributes (With Grealish being great at slowing them down 😂) We shouldn’t look at Eddie as he’s either Laca, Auba or he should go! He has different attributes and good movement. Being in a position to… Read more »
Spot on gooner. Everything you’ve said just there is correctamundo.
I always say its not about having a 1st 11, you need a 1st 15/16 to compete.
Yeah but Arteta doesn’t rotate in the same way, which I think is partly to do with stubborness and partly to do with not having enough of the right players maintain the system he wants. I don’t think any of the strikers at the club really fit the mould he wants at the moment, and Eddie arguably the least versatile of the lot. He’s a great poacher, but unless we’re going to divert to a style that plays to that, I’m not sure where he fits. Sure would be great to keep him in reserve, but I (and I believe… Read more »
Call me sentimental bit I’d love to see a starting eleven with Eddie amd AMN as well as Saka and ESM. Also think strikers tend to get better woth age and Eddie could be prolific as he’s clearly putting the work in.
Eddie isn’t perfect, but the lad has an eye for goal and that is a very beneficial asset. We still need a more rounded player, but I hope he stays.
he scored three very good goals today in a very technical way, and i’m more than happy to keep a player that scores goals, nevermind the way in which he does. but it’s truly a concern for me that everytime he scores it has to be practically inside the 6 yard box. if that’s all he has to offer to our play, i still think we should a better solution to our striking problems.
Obviously he doesn’t have to be first choice. In my mind he still offers more than Auba with his workrate and the fact that the ball actually sticks to him and he can link smoothly with other players. Quite funny that you’ve managed to calmly disparage the single most important skill in football too.
scoring is indeed very important and i’d like a player that helps us do so in more ways than just pushing it in with a touch below the goal line. though that’s admittedly something with which we’ve been struggling recently…
If he played for another club and we wanted to sign him would we be excited ??? Hmmm so far he’s done okay against league 1 type teams but there’s something about Eddie that smacks of Andy Coles Arsenal days ? Happy to keep but understand if he wants to go but deffo a player who will only get better !
Andy Cole did alright in his career to be fair to him. Why would you let that walk out the door for nothing if there is a chance of keeping him?
It would be a crime if we were to let England’s leading U21 goalscorer ahead of Alan Shearer to leave on a free. Sign him up or get a hefty fee in Jan
Nobody pays a hefty fee for a player they can get for free in a few months. He’ll listen to offers, and may give Arsenal a chance to match the best one IF he’s promised playing time. Remember how Theo always jerked us around when it was contract time? Now the players simply walk, knowing that transfer fee money that their new club saves will largely go into funding an inflated salary. Careers are short, injuries happen, form sometimes evaporates, so I don’t blame them for getting what they can when the chance comes. It’s hard to gauge Eddie’s ceiling.… Read more »
Oh my, theo and his contract extension situation was always so frustrating. Wenger never wanted him to leave until the end was tbh we never got a direct replacement for him. I used to think the Ox would be a natural replacement for him but…
wow ox and theo? completely different types of player. Did you think that because they both came from southampton?
Just cemented his place over Balogun who really struggled tonight. Would be a shame to watch him leave for free.
We need a proven striker in January. I’m confident that someone like Vlahovic is what we’re looking for.
Nothing against Eddie. He’s young and has potential, but he expects minutes that he hasn’t earned yet. Scoring a hattrick against a Div 1 team is a good start, but we can’t go into Premier League games with him leading the line based on that, especially if we’re to set out sights high – as we should do.
Let him go if he wants to go.
Vlahovic could probably go anywhere he wants. Why is he coming to Arsenal? Talk to me.
Hi Graham, how’s everything going? I’ve got a lot on at the moment, how about you? I found some great stocking fillers for the kids yesterday but immediately felt a pang of guilt that any of it might end up in a landfill in a few weeks. Still, Christmas dinner to be planned so I’m off to the supermarket later, any recommendations? Pretty cold over here at the moment, I hear there’s a chance of a white Christmas which would be a delightful gift from Mother Nature after the last couple of years.
Graham? You still there?
I’m confident that someone like Vlahovic is what every club is looking for.
Nothing’s impossible but I wouldn’t hold your breath for that transfer.
Just watched YouTube of that Basel striker, guy is a monster, I’d be happy with him if not too pricey
Can we trade two of Eddie’s goals tonight for that header he missed at Goodison going in?
He was in the right place. He will score more.
Hmmmm… I wonder what @AAllenSport thinks of the Nketiah saga.
Looks like him and Pepe have patched up.
Players running down their contract gonna be norm. Im so so so happy (*pep voice*) for him, he is working and deserves it. outstanding ratio! eddy eddy eddy!
I really hope we don’t keep him. Backward step – he’s just not got enough about him. Compare and contrast with Martinelli and Saka. I was gutted not to see Balogun through the middle. He can hold the ball up which Eddie can’t. His ceiling is higher. Eddie is basically at his ceiling. And it’s punishing weak opponents in the box, but going missing at Premier League level.
I get that Arteta likes a good attitude, and its important for the ethic of the squad. But you’ve still got to be a quality player!
Totally agree. Seen enough of Eddie failing last 4 years. He’s championship-level talent. Can’t cut it against decent opposition. Seen that time and again. Let him move on now. Don’t understand the 180 Arteta is doing on Eddie right now at all…
Eddie’s probably further along than vardy Wright or beardsley were at his age. There’s a very good player there, can’t see the point in selling for a small fee. I think signing him is the way to go, he could be a very useful squad player, or might keep improving. Not every good player is ready for the 1st team at the same age.
rubbish. What game were you watching? Balogun was hooked because he couldn’t hold the ball up and we needed more control in midfield. Eddie on the other hand help it up well.
This kind of game showed the difference in development between Eddie and Flo is between night and day. Flo relys on bullying U23 players to be so dominant there, but has yet to learn how to translate that to the senior game. He will get there with time and experience but Eddie has already started doing that process. To those people who are happy to write him off at such a young age, having seen how countless strikers develop, I say have some faith! He’s one of our own and scores goals for fun, what’s not to like? I’m so… Read more »
I agree completely. It’s clear that Eddie’s way further along in his development compared to Flo atm, which is to be expected. I can see Eddie playing a part in this squad as a different option or a threat from the bench if not an automatic starter. He’s also got loads of time to work on the rest of his game if he chooses to stay. I wouldn’t expect any 22 year old player to have hit their ceiling at that age, let alone a striker. Not a huge fan of Merson’s punditry (as much as I like him as… Read more »
Talking about watching Balogun over the last year or two, not yesterday
Remember the opposition….
My Toon mate calls them the mutants…
Flat track bully.
Refuses contract. He’ll never do better than Arsenal.
Bye bye eddie. Don’t let the door hit ya in the arse on yer way out.
He does well. With good service. Could he help WHU or Palace? He is a finisher, and I don’t doubt the staff at the club could help him improve other aspects of his game but he doesn’t want to be the late sub here.
It would be massive if he signs with us. He may not be the level of striker we need, but to lose him on a free after Wilshere, Ramsey, and Welbeck is such a waste. If he can have at least a 10 goal season with us on a long-term contract, we can get some good money for him from the lower half of the table.
Eddie Nketiah is just 22 years? It feels like he’s beens with us forever. Hope he signs a new deal
Great goals, but Eddie seems to have been found wanting so far against Premier League level defenders. Hope he proves me wrong, signs a new deal and scores a bucket load of goals! COYG
Great to see him get the hat trick, but if he has any brains whatsoever, he’ll be signing a contract with a German club in January.
I want Eddie to stay but will he really get minutes? Arteta doesn’t really give minutes. Yes, you might get a short run, but if you’re out then you’re out. Look at AMN after the ‘clear the air talks’ or Pepe who just struggles to get a look in. I feel like we’re playing him now so he signs (to protect his value), but once he signs, he will promptly disappear from the squad.
Get him signed up on a new contract and then sell him to Newcastle or Everton for 30+
Sign da ting