Ian Wright urges Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah to ‘get angry’ and seize his opportunity to displace out-of-form Alexandre Lacazette in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI
- Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has favoured Alexandre Lacazette over Eddie Nketiah
- But the Frenchman, 29, has now gone six matches without finding the net
- Nketiah has scored three goals this season but started just one top-flight game
- Ian Wright believes the England U21 star must do more to displace Lacazette
Mikel Arteta has so far favoured the Frenchman, who repaid that faith with three Premier League goals in as many games at the start of the season.
But the 29-year-old has looked horribly out of sorts since and has gone six games without netting, having missed excellent chances in the home defeats by Leicester and Aston Villa recently.
Ian Wright has urged Eddie Nketiah to ‘get angry’ and displace Alexandre Lacazette at Arsenal
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta (left) has preferred Lacazette (right) over Nketiah in the league
Nketiah meanwhile has broken the England Young Lions goalscoring record already this season but has started just one Premier League game in 2020-21 despite impressive performances in the Europa League and Carabao Cup.
But former Arsenal record goalscorer Wright insists the 21-year-old cannot just hope to add to his tally of three strikes this season if he is to displace Lacazette.
‘We talked about Laca and people are talking about Laca’s got to be taken out. Maybe for just for himself, just to have a rest,’ Wright told Wrighty’s House Podcast.
‘Eddie now should be looking at what Laca does, why Laca’s in the team, why Laca’s being picked over him even though he’s not scoring. And he’s got to start learning about the progression of himself.
But the Frenchman, 29, is out of form and has failed to score in any of his last six games
But Wright insists Nketiah must add more than goals to his play if he is to displace Lacazette
‘Because by now, with the goals that we know he’s capable of scoring because he can get in the box and he can finish, he should be adding those other things to his game to be putting a bit more pressure on Laca, with all due respect to Laca.
‘He should have forced himself by now, especially with Laca,’ he continued.
‘If he had gone on loan at the start of the season and Laca’s in the form he’s in, people would probably be saying, ‘What did you sent Eddie out on loan for? He should be there!
‘The fact is, if I had to speak to Eddie, I’d be saying, ‘Listen, I don’t know if you’ve recognised it but your opportunity is right now. As a No.9, if you want to play that role, it’s now’.
Nketiah has scored three goals for Arsenal this season but started just one top-flight game
‘Because you’ve got a No 9 at the moment who has low confidence, he brings so much to the team, but at the same time, if the manager has somebody that is a goal threat and doing that pretty well, he’d probably play you. He needs to get angry.’
Nketiah continued his fine form with Aidy Boothroyd’s side this week, netting two second-half goals as England Under-21s beat their Albanian counterparts.
But it remains to be seen if he can help the Gunners with their current goal crisis, with Wolves and Fulham the only sides outside of the relegation zone to have scored fewer league goals this season than Arteta’s men.
Nketiah has been in fine form for England U21s and became their record goalscorer last month
The north London side have failed to score from open play in their last four league games, and Wright claimed after the defeat by Villa that he felt ‘unfortunate’ for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but insisted the club must get into the habit of scoring.
‘If I’m being honest, there’s not many chances being created, which is why I feel so unfortunate for Auba.
‘It’s just a coincidence that he’s signed his contract at this time and then the suits say, “It’s because he’s signed his contract, he’s clocked off”. We’re not creating chances!
‘We’re not creating chances but I do not like seeing in a warm-up shooting session, people missing the target, and sloppy shots. All those things make you look into the team and what’s going on.’
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arsenal have not scored from open play in four league games