Nketiah ‘has a chance to start’ against Burnley

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has praised Eddie Nketiah and said that like everybody else in the squad, he has a chance to start the Gunners’ next Premier League game against Burnley at the Emirates on Sunday.

Nketiah scored the North London side’s opening goal in their 4-2 win over Irish club Dundalk in the Europa League on Thursday night. With that goal, he became Arsenal’s top scorer this season with five goals in 18 appearances across all competitions. He has taken the opportunities that have come his way and he is knocking on the door for a start in the Premier League.

The 21-year-old striker went out on loan to Leeds United at the start of last season but returned to Arsenal in January. Mikel Arteta had recently joined the club as head coach and after watching the young centre forward in training, his staff and him decided to keep him at the club instead of sending him out on loan again. Nketiah scored four goals in 17 appearances for the Gunners last season and has already improved on that tally in the current campaign. 

He is competing with the likes of Alexander Lacazette and more recently, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a place in the first team but has proven that he has an eye for goal and a work rate that forces opposition defenders into mistakes. Arteta likes what he has seen so far from Nketiah and is sure to give him more opportunities in the future.

On Nketiah being the club’s top scorer this season, Arteta said:

“Since we decided to keep Eddie at the club and not send him on loan [last January], the main reason was we saw his hunger and his ability to score goals consistently. He has been doing that since he has been with the first team, he is performing really well, last night [against Dundalk] he was a threat all the time and he has chances, like everyone else, to start the game on Sunday.”

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