Arsenal will this afternoon (Saturday) host out-of-sorts Manchester United and Gunners Manager Mikel Arteta could rely on rejuvenated Eddie Nketiah to lead the onslaught against the stuttering Red Devils. Nketiah reinvigorated Arsenal’s top-four hopes with a sublime brace in the 4-2 demolition of Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge on Wednesday after a difficult spell that saw them lose four times in their previous five matches.
The 22-year-old was indeed an unlikely hero; here is a player who is at the exit door of his Arsenal career after five years of uninspiring stint with the senior team. That Wednesday’s start was the second for the Ghanian-born forward this season and the 13th of his Arsenal career. Opportunites have come far in between for the Chelsea academy product and he admitted in an interview before the match that he had rejected offers to stay on at the Emirates Stadium because of the infrequent usage by the Manager. Arteta himself admitted he had been unfair to the forward, when he said, “Good things happen to good people.
If there’s one player I’ve been unfair with, then it’s him. “He’s given me every right to do something different, and if Eddie hasn’t played more, then it’s my fault. If he hasn’t played then it’s because, as a manager, I’ve missed something or I haven’t had the courage to play him.
Today he showed me again how wrong I was.” Nketiah gained the rare start because Alexandre Lacazette was still not fully recovered from Covid-19 and despite the Frenchman getting a cameo appearance on Wednesday, Arteta is likely going to stick to the 22-year-old. Arsenal hadn’t been that ruthless in their performance in most of the season but performances like the one on the show from Nketiah on Wednesday should now leave Lacazette out of the starting list. That’s what the fans want to see because, if that happens, then it means the Gunners are securing maximum points and players are doing their jobs.
It is still largely unknown if Arsenal will do so much to get Nketiah committed to a new deal but what happens from now on will determine if the youngster would join numerous suitors including Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and the German side Monchengladbach. However, he stil got a job to do on Saturday afternoon and the striker can explore the sloppiness that has characterised the performance of United defender Harry Ma- guire and the loss of confidence that has marked the performance of Lindelof just as he punished Andreas Christensen Wednesday night. He has demanded a fair run of game and the Manager will hope his stalwart can sustain the sterling show in front of the supportive faithful on Saturday.