How Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have piled the pressure on Eddie Nketiah

Eddie Nketiah will be desperate to prove he can cut it in the Premier League with Arsenal after signing a new five-year deal with the Gunners. He will also want to silence the detractors who have weighed in with unrelenting criticism over the past 12 months.

The 23-year-old — who was a product of the Gunners youth academy — enjoyed a fine spurt towards the end of last season as he nabbed five goals in his past seven matches, although the north London outfit were pipped to fourth spot by their bitter adversaries Tottenham.

More intriguingly, Nketiah — who wore the number 30 shirt — has taken No.14, which was previously donned by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry who left an indelible mark on the club. Well, the fact there is a statue of Henry sitting outside the Emirates Stadium speaks volumes about the Frenchman’s contribution to the Gunners.

Of course, Nketiah has a long way to go to emulate the feats of Henry. Although Arsenal has signed a few players this summer, including Fabio Vieira, there is no indication of a striker arriving through the door.

Last season, the Gunners let Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang join Barcelona in January. By not signing a replacement, Arsenal’s shortcomings in attack were woefully exposed and they ultimately paid the price.

In many respects, Mikel Arteta has been bold in letting Nketiah take the No.14 shirt, because there have been few suggestions that Nketiah could be an out-and-out centre forward. It could also be said that Arteta is making a big mistake, even if he is placing more faith in the younger members of his squad.

Nketiah, however, doesn’t see the No.14 shirt as being a burden and he is convinced he can deliver the goods for Arsenal next season.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Nketiah said: “When you get a run of eight games in the first team, you get that database and platform to show everything you can do.

“I have worked a lot with the manager on playing with my back to goal, on the spaces to drop into and link play.

“People are always going to say things, but I know what I can do. The people that have played with me, played against me, the coaches that have worked with me, I know how they feel about me.”

For Arsenal, they will be disappointed with the way how things unfolded last season. They need to put themselves back into the mix for a top-four spot, especially if they want to attract the best players. This season will be the litmus test for the likes of Nketiah and co to see whether they can push on and deliver some silverware. Naturally, there will be some pressure from the fans, but also leading bookmakers all over the world, who will harbour high hopes for the Gunners.

Some of the most reputable betting sites in Australia will carry future odds for Arsenal’s chances of cementing a top-four finish or even lifting the title. But some bettors will like to tap into specials, such as the Goalscorer markets where you can often find good value. For example, you might find a price for Nketiah to score 20+ goals, which could pay out quite well as he is not in the same bracket of player as Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, or Erling Haaland.

This has the feeling of a make-or-break season for Nketiah and there will, of course, be some concerns for Gunners fans. It’s up to Nketiah to quell their fears, but a lot is riding on Arteta, especially if things fall flat in the opening stages of the campaign.

The post How Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have piled the pressure on Eddie Nketiah appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

Tags :