For the first time this season, for the Everton game, Arteta had both of his attackers, Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, match-fit.
The Spaniard had a choice to make, and he chose to begin with Nketiah.Unfortunately, judging the Englishman on his performance against Everton, it would leave many questioning if he truly deserves to start for Arsenal.
According to Alan Shearer, the 24-year-old, who has already scored two goals this season, was lethargic vs. Everton, which was concerning enough that the Premier League legend implied he didn’t take his chances well with Gabriel on the bench.
Speaking about Eddie Nketiah on Premier League productions as transcribed by HITC, Alan Shearer said, “We will continue to have discussions to say, ‘Is he elite? And the top-draw striker that Arsenal need to go to that next level?’
“We will keep on asking those questions because it’s important that when he gets the opportunity like he has done, then he has to take those opportunities.
“I just thought there were two or three occasions against Everton, one being the disallowed goal. [when he didn’t rush to get back onside]
“There were a couple in that second half where I was thinking, ‘Come on. Get on the end of it and into the six-yard box and that little tap-in, like all great strikers do’. It was just a split second where he was slow.
“Until he does that, then those questions are still going to be asked.”
Arsenal plays PSV in the Champions League on Wednesday night, and there’s no question Gabriel Jesus will make his first start of the season. There’s every belief that how he plays in that game could keep him in the starting 11 for the North London derby next weekend.
Nketiah had his chances and he ought to have scored against Everton, which would have cemented his place in the team, but he didn’t, which leaves many feeling it’s about time we see what Jesus has to give, as Arteta conceded the other day.
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