Many readers on JustArsenal often criticise our backup striker Eddie Nketiah for not being good enough for the Gunners, and it is frequently remarked that “Arsenal will never win a title with Eddie Nketiah up front.” Everyone is entitled to their own view, but it is evident that Eddie is well-liked in the Arsenal camp, and Mikel Arteta has said unequivocally that he disagrees with Eddie’s detractors.
After Eddie’s first hat-trick for Arsenal yesterday, Arteta was asked about how Nketiah responds to the endless criticism from people who say he’s not top level, and he responded: “Well to me he is top level. He’s started nine out of our ten Premier League games, so that tells you how much we trust him and the importance he has in the team. I’m really happy for him, an academy player to experience a Premier League hat-trick. He needs to enjoy the moment, he fully deserves it, and hopefully there are many more to come.
Arteta was then cheekily asked what level did he think Eddie could reach. He said: “I don’t know. He’s already playing for Arsenal. He’s started games in the Premier League. He’s already really good [and] he can be better. The best thing he’s got, along with the talent, is his mentality. It’s incredible. When he has that mentality and that talent, he’s going to get much better.”
It is often forgotten that, although Nketiah has been at Arsenal for seven years, he is still only 24 years old and is Arsenal through and through. He is still young enough to get better and better every year with more games under his belt.