Former Tottenham Hotspur star Jamie O’Hara has slammed Arsenal for handing Eddie Nketiah the club’s iconic number 14 shirt.
Nketiah follows the likes of Thierry Henry, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Keown in wearing the shirt. The striker signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners on Saturday, with his deal having been set to expire this summer.
His new contract will keep him at the Emirates Stadium until at least 2027, though the Gunners are still expected to bring in a new forward this summer. Nketiah mainly served as the back-up to Alexandre Lacazette last term, scoring 10 goals in all competitions.
Though he will once again likely take a backseat to whoever the Gunners bring in, Nketiah was still handed one of the club’s most iconic numbers. That decision has now been slammed by O’Hara, who has joked that it is ‘magic’ for Tottenham fans.
“I can’t believe he’s getting number 14. I mean it just sums up really where Arsenal are right now. Spurs are buying all these great players, we’re flying high, we’ve got Champions League football,” O’Hara told talkSPORT.
“And they’re giving a player who didn’t even want to be at the football club, all the fans said he wasn’t good enough, he had decent end to the season, and they’re giving him Thierry Henry’s shirt. It’s unbelievable. It’s magic for us right now.
“Spurs fans are sitting there, I’ve got text messages from me mates. Thierry Henry’s shirt, Eddie Nketiah. Fair play to him, it shows the belief he’s got but come on, come on. You can’t give him Thierry Henry’s shirt. What are you doing?”
Despite O’Hara’s disparaging remarks, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has insisted that he rates Nketiah highly. The Spaniard hailed the Englishman’s “great talent” as he delivered his reaction to the news of his new contract.
“I’m delighted Eddie is staying with us. He represents what we are all about and all the values of the club. We are very happy that he has extended his contract and now we have to get to work and continue to develop the great talent and person that we have in him,” Arteta said.
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