Ligue 1

Exclusive transfer news: Nketiah Haaland Ziyech Pulisic

Exclusive transfer news: Nketiah Haaland Ziyech Pulisic

Eddie Nketiah is now Arsenal’s top scorer in all competitions, and his goal-scoring heroics in the win over Manchester United just further underlie his importance. Mikel Arteta has always known what he’s capable of, and let’s not forget, even before Gabriel Jesus arrived and subsequently got injured, Nketiah was in fine form last season, scoring five goals in seven Premier League appearances towards the end of the campaign. Arteta was keen to persuade Nketiah to stay, and it’s no coincidence that after signing that new deal he was handed the famous no.14 shirt at Arsenal, worn by the likes of Thierry Henry, Theo Walcott and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. You just don’t get that shirt unless you’re seen as integral.

Still, Nketiah was quite close to leaving Arsenal at one point. There was firm interest from Crystal Palace, and from outside the Premier League from Bayer Leverkusen, who considered making an offer. Nketiah didn’t just have doubts about game time, although that was always going to be a factor, but last season he played a lot and that gave him firm belief in his abilities as a starter. When a player gets into the team regularly and they feel they’re at their peak, but they have doubts if they’ll play week in, week out, it can lead to them assessing their options. This is where Arteta stepped in and gave Nketiah clear and direct assurances about his role, and made him feel highly appreciated. For Nketiah prior to the end of last season and before now, maybe he did always feel a bit like a backup, he was behind Aubameyang and Lacazette until they stopped scoring freely, and even when he was on loan at Leeds he spent a lot of time on the bench. Before Nketiah signed, Arteta directly made him feel, once again, very much part of the Arsenal family, and he underlined that Nketiah would be getting more game time. Of course Gabriel Jesus’ injury helped, as before that Nketiah still featured largely from the bench, but what Arteta did was make it clear to Nketiah that, whether he was starting or on the bench, he could force his way into the side.

The fact that Arteta told Nketiah before the start of the season, that he could get into the team if he played well, is very interesting, because now we’re going to see if there’s substance to that – when Jesus is fit it’s going to be very hard for him to walk back into the team. If Nketiah keeps up this form and Arteta is true to his word, then he can be a starter rather than just a…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at French Ligue 1 – CaughtOffside…