Mikel Arteta delighted for Eddie Nketiah after Nottingham Forest victory

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Eddie Nketiah’s mentality after he scored the club’s opening goal of the new Premier League season.

The Gunners started their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest at the Emirates Stadium. Nketiah and Bukayo Saka were the goal scorers.

The former was only a late substitute in the Community Shield win versus Manchester City last weekend, but he was chosen to lead the line against Forest.

Nketiah repaid the manager’s faith by finding the back of the net and speaking after the game, Arteta said that the 24-year-old trained this week ‘like a beast’.

He told Arsenal.com: “Eddie sums up what we want this season in terms of the squad. He was a player who was really disappointed not to start against Manchester City in the absence of Gabby, but he had an incredible impact in the game against City and he trained this week like a beast.”

The Spanish tactician added that Nketiah was determined to start in the season opener, and he did not hide his opinion in the training sessions before the game.

He added: “He was telling me: “gaffer, if I don’t play, you are blind.”. A lot of players come and say: “ah, why am I not playing?”, and you have to try and explain.”

“Other players tell you the reasons why they deserve to play, this is exactly what Eddie does. This is exactly what he did and then he goes onto the pitch, and he performs as well. It’s a clear example and a very good example for everybody.”

Nketiah impresses for Arsenal in curtain-raiser

The Gunners graduate made a terrific start to the campaign against Forest. The onus is now on finding the consistency to become the club’s undisputed number nine.

Nketiah’s goal on Saturday was his 14th in his last 16 starts at the Emirates Stadium. This is an outstanding record, but he needs to replicate the same on the road.

If he can do so this season, the Gunners would have a strong chance of competing for the title.

With Jesus on the sidelines, Nketiah has been handed a golden opportunity to prove himself. Hopefully, he can realise his full potential with regular goal contributions.

Stats from Squawka.com

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