‘The way he played is extraordinary’: Mikel Arteta talks up Eddie Nketiah’s performance after Arsenal striker was the ONLY player to impress in their desperate defeat by Manchester City
- Eddie Nketiah was a surprise pick to lead the forward line on Wednesday night
- He impressed for Arsenal despite having few opportunities at goal at the Etihad
- Mikel Arteta hailed the 21-year-old striker for how he performed on the night
The striker was a surprise pick for the Gunners to lead the forward line when they got their Premier League campaign back underway at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.
But he could do little to help them as they fell to a 3-0 defeat against Pep Guardiola‘s side.
Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Eddie Nketiah’s display for Arsenal against Manchester City
The striker was a surprise pick for the Gunners to lead the forward line at the Etihad
Nketiah, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Leeds, struggled for chances but did hold the ball up well and Arteta believes there is optimism to be found in how the 21-year-old played.
‘I want him to keep doing what he’s doing,’ said Arsenal manager Arteta.
‘The way he played last night against those players, in those difficult conditions, for me is extraordinary at his age.
‘He has an immense personality to play, confidence, he’s powerful and is developing in every area I think. I have a lot of faith in him.’
Arteta believes there is optimism to be found in how the 21-year-old played on Wednesday
Arsenal will have a limited budget this coming window after the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Arteta himself hinted that young players could be given a shot in his Arsenal squad next season.
‘The trick here is to get them with the right environment around them – not to put too much pressure on them,’ said Arteta.
‘We have a really young squad, a very inexperienced squad, and when you put that in certain parts of the pitch very close together, you can see that there are some deficits and the decision-making is not always the right thing to do.
Arteta hinted that young players could be given a serious shot at Arsenal next season
‘We are in a position that we have to accept that some things at the moment, in there, probably more than we would like, are going to be like that.
‘That’s the circumstances that we have but at the same time it’s great because it’s a great value for them to have these experiences and see themselves playing against that type of opposition.’
Arteta and Arsenal are ninth in the Premier League, eight points off Champions League qualification with nine games to go.