Arsenal: Commentator hits out at club for Nketiah decision


Football commentator Kevin Hatchard has said on the TalkSport GameDay podcast that Arsenal have put “unnecessary pressure” on Eddie Nketiah by assigning him the number 14 jersey.

That number, of course, is synonymous with Arsenal and arguably their greatest ever player in Thierry Henry, which led to some calling out the 23-year-old frontman, but Highbury legend Ian Wright leapt to the defence of Nketiah, who signed fresh terms with the Gunners at the weekend.

Nketiah stepped up with five goals towards the end of the campaign, emerging as a talisman under Mikel Arteta, and although no one will be expecting him to emulate the icon who came before him, he will perhaps at least be looking to match the mark that Theo Walcott and Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng have made on the shirt.

However, while the forward seeks to prove his doubters wrong, Hatchard believes the club have applied unwanted weight onto his shoulders.

Was it a good move from Arsenal to give Eddie Nketiah a new contract?





He said: “I do think it’s unnecessary pressure, to be honest, and I wonder where that’s really come from.

“I mean, it wasn’t that long ago he was nearly going to Palace and that fell through, and so, credit to him for digging in and kind of convincing Mikel Arteta. 

“But if they’d have got in Dusan Vlahovic, which was never going to happen, I don’t think, but if they had, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. So I do think it’s a strange one.”

TIF Thoughts on Nketiah at Arsenal…

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While the Gunners attempt to acquire a major signing in Gabriel Jesus, their home-grown talent may well be reduced to second-choice, but the numbers he produced last season showed that he is perhaps ready to step up when needed.

In just eight league starts, he directly contributed to six goals and averaged a goal every 164.8 minutes (as per Squawka), and while Arteta will have to share game time around his squad as the north London club contend with Europa League football next term, the newly re-signed frontman is sure to get plenty of chances to repay the club’s trust.

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