Fresh from penning a new long-term deal and inheriting the number 14 shirt from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, you’d imagine Eddie Nketiah might be a bit miffed by his lack of game time this season.
If he is, he’s not showing it.
Despite being reduced to eight substitute cameos in the league, the 23-year-old says he accepts playing second fiddle to new signing Gabriel Jesus whose form since joining from Manchester City has been very impressive.
Facing the press ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Bodo/Glimt, a match he’s expected to start, Nketiah couldn’t help but praise Jesus.
“He’s (Jesus) a great player. He’s good to play alongside and watch. He’s had a really good start and he’s a great guy off the pitch so I’m really happy for him.
“I don’t really see it as me versus him, it’s about whatever’s best for the team. There will be times when we play together. We’ve shown that we can play together.
“The times we played in pre-season and I played with him, we showed that we can combine. We’re both fluid strikers that like to move around. He’s had a good start and hopefully, it continues for the team.”
He added: “My aim is to be starting and helping the team, but I respect the coach’s decision. It’s down to me to keep working hard and putting in the performances. It’s a long season and we’re only a month in. There will be a lot of opportunities for me to play, whether that be in Europe or in the league, and I’ll be ready whenever I’m called upon.
“When you play for any big club there is always going to be competition, I’m not shy of that. I’m happy to be part of a team that is doing well and will keep pushing hard to show that I deserve more minutes.”