Paul Merson has claimed that Arsenal striker Eddie NKetiah wouldn’t get in Fulham’s team, insisting that we wouldn’t be able to earn a Champions League place with him in our first-team.
The Gunners narrowly missed out on the top-four last term, with Alexandre Lacazette having held down the first-choice role for much of the campaign, while Nketiah came into the side after impressing in the absence of the Frenchman. I would argue that we wouldn’t have finished as close to fourth as we did if young Eddie hadn’t stepped up when he did, but Merson claims that there is ‘no chance’ that he would be able to fire us into the CL places.
‘All Arsenal have got up front right now is Eddie Nketiah, who recently signed a new contract when it looked like he might leave,’ Merson told the Daily Star.
‘And no disrespect to Nketiah but Mikel Arteta must realise he won’t get you into the top four. Absolutely no chance. That’s a fact.
‘Nketiah can’t be spearheading your Champions League push. He’s not getting in ahead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison at Everton and they almost got relegated.
‘He’s not getting in at Fulham ahead of Aleksandr Mitrovic and they’ve only just been promoted. I’m not having a go at him but he’s not getting you top four.’
Nketiah isn’t quite the finished article yet, but he did make improvements this season, and is well deserving of his new deal. I hope that he can pick up plenty of minutes this season to continue on that upward curve, but on what we have seen, I have to agree that he isn’t to be our main outlet in attack. Not yet anyway.
Would Nketiah get in the Everton or Fulham teams? Is Merson being a little harsh on our new number 14?
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