Mikel Arteta says Eddie Nketiah should be left to enjoy his football despite his good form in front of goal sparking further intrigue about his contract situation.
Frustrated by a lack of first team football – he didn’t earn a first league start of the campaign until last month – the 22-year-old parked negotiations about a new deal knowing he’ll have plenty of options as a free agent in the summer.
While Mikel Arteta hasn’t given up hope of persuading Nketiah to sign new terms, he’s not putting pressure on the striker having previously admitted he hasn’t been given the minutes he deserves.
After yesterday’s 2-1 win over Leeds, Arteta said of his matchwinner: “Eddie is doing what he’s done all season, he’s been very consistent, with his performances and how little he is giving things away!
“Let him be, let him enjoy the moment because he completely deserves it and things will happen naturally.”
Nketiah’s first half brace proved to be decisive on Sunday and must have been particularly satisfying coming against a club who took him on loan for six months but couldn’t figure out how best to use him.
More than anything, he seems very happy to be contributing at the business end of the season. Yesterday’s win sets up the mouthwatering prospect of sealing Champions League football with a win at Sp*rs on Thursday evening.
"I really feel the connection between the players and the fans." ❤️
Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal moved to within one point of third-place Chelsea in the Premier League. 💫 pic.twitter.com/KCpHAECkRE
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 8, 2022
“It’s always nice to score, but it’s a big three points,” he told Sky Sports.
“Like I said before the game, we’ve been working hard, we want to give it for the fans. It’s amazing to win and to get the three points because it moves us closer to our objectives.”
“We’re just taking it game by game. A win today has put us in a good position heading to Sp*rs, hopefully we can go there and get the three points.”
On his good form, he continued: “Any player wants to just be playing and to have the opportunities. I’ve worked hard throughout the season to be ready for when I get my chance and credit to my teammates for helping me when I play and to do well. I’m just happy to be in the team and to be helping the team.
“It’s a great atmosphere [in the stadium], throughout the whole season it has been excellent. I really feel the connection between the players and the fans. It’s amazing to be involved. We’re giving it our all to make them happy.”