‘He will start in front of you’: Ian Wright warns outfield Arsenal star he could be dropped

hitc.com 4 days ago
'He will start in front of you': Ian Wright warns outfield Arsenal star he could be dropped
Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Ian Wright has warned Eddie Nketiah that Gabriel Jesus might now ‘start in front of you’ after his poor showing during Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Everton on Sunday at Goodison Park.

The Highbury legend was frustrated by the lack of movement from Eddie Nketiah inside the penalty area and how he isn’t ‘gambling’ when the ball is coming into the box – Alan Shearer himself made it clear that the player isn’t an elite-level striker.

It was pointed out that the Arsenal star had a low amount of touches during the game, so that emphasised Wright’s point even further that, when the ball is put into the box, he has to do more in order to, at the very least, get the ball on target, as he told Premier League Productions (17/09/23 at 5:35 pm).

In the end, the 24-year-old was subbed off on the hour mark for Gabriel Jesus, who is still trying to get back to full fitness after missing pre-season through injury.

Mikel Arteta’s side will host PSV in the Champions League on Wednesday night and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Gabriel Jesus starts as Arsenal’s number nine.

The Brazil star, alongside his manager, was put up to do media duties on Tuesday, which probably indicates that he will be named in the XI.

Everton FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Nketiah a low-touch striker

“What you say, as you mentioned about Eddie being a low-touch striker,” said Wright. “That, for me, is a meat and drink one for a forward. You have to be gambling, at this stage (cross coming in from the left flank and Nketiah isn’t attacking the near post).

“He is on the right side and he has to be moving already. He has to be closer to that defender. He has to be sliding, or something, to finish that off. Those are the things, if you are a low-touch striker, then you have to make it up inside the box.

“When you have somebody like Jesus, who is going to come on and probably will start in front of you, then every chance you get, even a half-chance, you have to get a shot on target, then you have to take it because that’s the thing that will keep you in the team and keep people from saying ‘oh, Eddie has to play’ because that’s what they were saying before this game. 

“He deserves his chance, but when you see little things like we are pointing out there and what Al (Alan Shearer) said about certain touches and finishes, then you have to do those at this level.”

England Men's Training Camp
Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Big pressure on Nketiah

These coming months are huge for Nketiah because, if he doesn’t showcase a consistent run of form, then questions will be asked.

A certain Ivan Toney possibly joining Arsenal is being talked about, his current ban ends in the middle of January and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Premier League clubs push to sign the Brentford star.

There is no doubt that Toney is a level above Nketiah, and come the winter, if the Arsenal poacher is still lacking that consistency, then fans will only want one thing.


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