“He should play every game now” – Paul Merson makes bold claim on player who ‘is not the long-term answer’ at Arsenal 

Paul Merson gives an honest assessment of Arsenal striker
Paul Merson gives an honest assessment of Arsenal striker
Jack Spedding

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes that striker Eddie Nketiah's future lies away from the Emirates Stadium. However, he believes that the Englishman should play all the remaining games this season.

The 22-year-old forward scored his first two Premier League goals of the season in his side's 4-2 win away at Chelsea this week with a clinical brace.

FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-4 ArsenalArsenal go level on points with Spurs thanks to Eddie Nketiah's brace, Emile Smith Rowe's tidy finish and Bukayo Saka's penalty. What a match!#CHEARS

It was Nketiah's second top-flight start of the campaign. Merson claims the England U21 international's double at Stamford Bridge reminded him of club legend Ian Wright.

Merson believes the striker should be the Gunners' first choice to lead the attack for the remainder of the season. However, he shouldn't be considered a long-term option.

As per The Mirror, Merson wrote in his Daily Star column:

"Eddie Nketiah reminded me of Ian Wright against Chelsea and he should play every game now for Arsenal until the end of the season. He is a better finisher than Alexandre Lacazette and should score more goals, so I'd leave him in there and let him have a run in the team."

He added:

"But he is not the long-term answer. He could play tomorrow against Manchester United and be a 4/10. There's no consistency. It's like there's something missing. And that's why he'll probably leave in the summer. He says they've made him an offer and he's delaying his decision."

Arsenal face tough decision on Nketiah's future

The forward has been at the north London club since his release from Chelsea in 2017. He now faces an uncertain future with his current contract expiring this summer.

Nketiah told the Beautiful Game Podcast before the victory at Stamford Bridge that he is unhappy with his lack of first-team opportunities under Mikel Arteta. He is determined to make the number 9 spot his own at the Emirates Stadium.

However, Merson doesn't believe the youngster is good enough to score the goals needed to play for a Champions League chasing team. He wrote:

"He probably thinks he'll get more game time elsewhere because he knows Arsenal will buy a striker this summer. And to be honest, I don't see him scoring 25 goals for Arsenal next season even if he did stay, so maybe it's for the best if he leaves."

Merson added:

"But for right now, he has to play. Something is missing. But you watch him against Chelsea and the kid's a goalscorer. He scored two unbelievable goals. I played with one of the greatest in Wrighty and both of those goals he scored were (Ian) Wright all over. I can't see Lacazette scoring goals like those."
Mikel Arteta on Nketiah: “If there is one player I have been unfair with, it is him. He has given me every right to do something different, so if Eddie hasn’t played more, it’s my fault, I have missed something or I haven’t had the courage. He showed me again how wrong I was.”

Edited by Aditya Singh


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