Liverpool legend Steve Nicol has opined that Arsenal will not win the Premier League with Eddie Nketiah as their starting center-forward this season.
Nketiah, 24, has led the line for the Gunners in both their league games this season, with Gabriel Jesus sidelined with an injury. The Englishman has not done much wrong in those appearances, helping the club claim six out of six points and netting once.
However, Nicol doubts if Nketiah has what it takes to establish himself as Arsenal's first-choice striker. The former Liverpool right-back expressed concerns about the center-forward's finishing, terming him inconsistent, telling ESPN (via HITC):
"I don’t know. He is what he is. He is one of those guys that is stuck between the very best and just a really good player. His finishing is a little inconsistent. I don’t think he is a guy you rely on to score goals, to win you the Premier League."
Nicol added that Arsenal will not win the Premier League this season if they continue with Nketiah as their starting striker:
"If Nketiah plays all season, then they won’t win the league. We have seen what he is. He isn’t a guy who, in the next 12-18 months, will go from where he is now to being more composed in front of goal."
Nketiah, who has been on the Gunners' books since 2015, made his senior debut for the club in a 4-2 UEFA Europa League win against BATE Borisov in September 2017. He has gone on to make 134 appearances across competitions for the north London giants, bagging 33 goals and five assists.
How has Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah fared in the Premier League this term?
Eddie Nketiah opened the scoring for Arsenal in their season opener against Nottingham Forest. He was one of the best players, helping the Gunners earn a 2-1 win. The striker earned a 7.5 rating on Sofascore, with only Bukayo Saka faring better.
Nketiah saw two other shots go off target and failed to complete both dribbles he attempted. However, he completed 15 of his passes with 100% accuracy. The Englishman registered 28 touches of the ball, the least among Arsenal starters, and conceded possession four times.
The frontman was not as good in the Gunners' 1-0 win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League last weekend. He hit the woodwork once and spurned two big goalscoring opportunities, but he won the penalty from which Martin Odegaard netted the winner. Nketiah only had 25 touches of the ball, though.