Mikel Arteta sends mixed messages over Eddie Nketiah’s Arsenal future

Arsenal Training Session
Eddie Nketiah has found himself out of contention at Arsenal recently (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Eddie Nketiah will get his chance in the first team, but also says that he will take the blame if the young striker doesn’t get more opportunities.

The 21-year-old has made 14 Premier League appearances this season, although only three of them have been in the starting XI and he has fallen out of contention entirely in recent weeks.

The forward’s last league appearance came as a substitute against Manchester United on 30 January, while his last start came in December.

Nketiah has not even been on the bench in the league since that appearance against the Red Devils, going the whole of February unused.

The youngster has scored five goals in all competitions this season and Arteta is very pleased with his commitment, but says there are just too many options in attack for Nketiah to fit in.

The Spaniard says the striker will get another chance, but made no promises as to when.

‘Well, when we’re talking about management, this is one of the hazards to leave someone like Eddie out of the squad, but at the moment everybody has been fit and we have so many options upfront,’ Arteta told a press conference.

‘But it hurts as well because of how Eddie behaves and trains every day and because he’s a player from our academy, but he will have his chance. He needs to be patient and he’s showing no signs of lacking attitude or anything like that, it’s the complete opposite.

‘He’s a joy to work with and he deserves minutes and if he doesn’t get it, it’s just my fault.’

Arteta also admitted that not playing, or even being involved in the match-day squads will harm Nketiah’s development and says there is a decision to be made on his future if he doesn’t start to play more.

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League
Eddie Nketiah has been frozen out by Mikel Arteta in recent weeks (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Yeah, there is [a risk to his development] because he needs to play and we’ve been wanting to use him a little bit more on some occasions and we didn’t.

‘To be fair, when he’s played, he’s played well, but at his age and for what he’s done the last two or three seasons, he needs more minutes. It’s something we have to talk about openly and make the right decision.’

If this decision means a loan exit, both West Ham and former club Leeds United have been linked with a move for the striker..

MORE : Mikel Arteta reveals Arsenal are preparing for ‘unprecedented’ summer transfer window

MORE : Mikel Arteta issues Folarin Balogun update after Arsenal contract rebel drops exit hint

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

No comments