"He has the smell for goals" - Mikel Arteta delighted with Arsenal attacker's 'incredible work-rate and character'

Arteta heaps praise on Arsenal youngster for performance against Sunderland in Carabao Cup quarter-finals
Arteta heaps praise on Arsenal youngster for performance against Sunderland in Carabao Cup quarter-finals
Varun Totadri

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Eddie Nketiah after the striker scored a hat-trick in the Gunners' 5-1 win over Sunderland in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

Eddie Nketiah opened the scoring for the Gunners in the 17th minute before Nicolas Pepe doubled Arsenal's lead ten minutes later. Sunderland forward Nathan Broadhead halved Arsenal's lead in the 31st minute.

Nketiah scored his second goal in the 49th minute. He completed his hat-trick nine minutes later. Arsenal academy product Charlie Patino scored Arsenal's fifth in second-half stoppage time.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta lauded Nketiah for his impressive performance, work-rate and incredible character. The Spanish tactician also reiterated his desire to convince Nketiah to sign a new contract with the club. The 22-year-old's current deal with Arsenal is set to expire at the end of the season.

"I tell you every day that we want to keep Eddie. We see how he trains, that's what he does every day, he works so hard and puts the ball in the net every session. I am really delighted with him. Every time we have needed him he has always responded," said Arteta in a post-match press conference.
"I don't know if he's different to our other strikers but I really like what he has. He has an incredible work-rate, he has pace and has the smell for goals. He has the capacity to finish in the box on any surface and then I really like his character. H wants to be the best and works all the time to do that."

Eddie Nketiah has scored five goals in six appearances for Arsenal this season. The youngster has, however, made just three appearances in the Premier League for the Gunners and is yet to score a goal in England's top flight during the 2021-22 campaign.

Arsenal 5-1 Sunderland: 5 talking points as hat-trick hero Eddie Nketiah lights up EFL…

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's off-field issues at Arsenal could increase Eddie Nketiah's playing time

Arsenal v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
Arsenal v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Quarter Final

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was left out of Arsenal's squad for their last three games in the Premier League after a 'disciplinary breach'. The Gabon striker was also stripped of the captain's armband by Mikel Arteta last week.

Reports have suggested Aubameyang's time at Arsenal could be coming to an abrupt end. According to Marca, the 32-year-old has emerged as a transfer target for Barcelona. The Catalan giants are in desperate need of a striker due to the injury crisis they are currently suffering from. Barcelona could make a move for Aubameyang in January.

Match report: Arsenal 5 Sunderland 1. Eddie Nketiah makes his point with a brilliant hat trick as Arsenal fans get just as excited by teenage prospect Charlie Patino…

Aubameyang's current situation at Arsenal could benefit Eddie Nketiah. The 22-year-old is likely to provide competition and cover for Alexandre Lacazette over the next couple of months unless he secures a move away from the club in January.

Edited by Parimal


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