With the Brazilian forward set to miss the first few weeks of the season having undergone surgery for a knee issue, Eddie Nketiah has backed himself to lead the line for the Gunners this season.
The 24-year-old will take a cue from last season’s campaign, which saw Gabriel Jesus absent from the squad due to a knee injury sustained during the 2022 World Cup, resulting in the English forward leading the line primarily in his absence.
During Jesus’ initial three-month absence last season, Nketiah stepped up admirably scoring six goals in six games upon domestic football’s return. His impressive goal-scoring form played a significant role in keeping Arsenal at the top of the Premier League standings until Jesus’ return.
Now with a similar opportunity ahead, Nketiah is determined to replicate his success and continue making valuable contributions to the team.
Speaking after the game against Monaco where he scored the equaliser and captained the team to an Emirate Cup triumph, he said:
“I don’t think I’m here to fill in for anyone. I’m here to play and contribute to the team,” obviously, I believe in my abilities and I know I can contribute.”
“The manager has got a tough decision and whenever he calls me, he knows I can deliver and I can help the team, so it’s just about us all collectively playing our part to to achieve our goals.”
“I just really enjoyed it (last season) and was able to improve myself, test myself, I played some really big games and I was able to help.”
“So that’s what it is about, obviously playing at the highest level, competing for trophies and that’s what I want to do.”
“I pride myself on always being ready and whatever role the manager needs me – I will always make sure I do my best and to the best of my ability so I can help the team – that’s what it’s all about.”
On losing Jesus, he added: ‘We want him back as soon as possible. We need him, he is a big player for us.
‘So whatever the manager does, we are all here to contribute and push to be out there to help the team.’