Arsenal have to try their very best to tie down Eddie Nketiah to a recent contract because loads of other clubs might be eager about signing him, based on Graeme Souness. Nketiah put in a superb performance for the Gunners of their 2-1 win over West Ham on Sunday and Souness believes the sport showed why Mikel Arteta can be crazy to let him leave.
Nketiah is out of contract with Arsenal on July 1, but has been showing his club what he can offer over the past few games. With Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang gone and Alexandre Lacazette on the bench, the 22-year-old striker has stepped as much as the plate to assist the Gunners win three successive Premier League games.
He didn’t get on the rating sheet on the London Stadium, but he was considered one of the stand-out players nonetheless. Rob Holding gave Arsenal the lead when he headed home Bukayo Saka’s pinpoint corner but West Ham went in level at half-time because of Jarrod Bowen’s deflected finish.
Gabriel Magalhaes produced a diving header from Gabriel Martinelli’s back-post cross to make it 2-1 and Arsenal held onto their lead as Nketiah caused the hosts problems together with his pace on the counter-attack. The victory ensured Arsenal moved back in fourth place following Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Leicester earlier within the day.
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“I feel he looked a threat throughout, he was up for a cut, by way of having an argument and I actually like him. I feel today he was fabulous.”
Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith was in full agreement with Souness’ assessment of Nketiah’s performance. “He’s not doing himself any harm with the best way he’s performing and which may encourage him to remain,” Smith said.
“When he’s come on as a sub, he’s jogged around. His overall game is a lot better and he’s putting himself around. You progress away and chances are high, it’s going to be a step down. He’s got a little bit of pace and the whites of the post in mind. He was unlucky not to attain on this game.”