The young Arsenal striker has been given some pointers on how to snatch Lacazette’s spot in Arteta’s line-up.
Ian Wright believes the time is ripe for Eddie Nketiah to challenge Alexandre Lacazette for his starting berth and urged the young Arsenal striker to ‘get angry’.
Only a single start and 146 minutes of action have come Nketiah’s way in the Premier League. He has mostly featured in the Europa League and EFL Cup this season, with Lacazette remaining Mikel Arteta’s preferred No.9.
But a run of six games without a single goal has raised questions over the former Lyon star again. To be fair, he’s not the only attacker struggling for goals as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also on a dry spell.
This suggests that Arteta may need to change his line-up or tactics to get Arsenal back on the right foot. And if that’s the case, then why not give Nketiah a chance?
Speaking on the ‘Wrighty’s House Podcast’, Gunners legend Wright said: “Reiss Nelson… what’s going to happen with Reiss Nelson? You have to be worried about Reiss and, to a certain extent, Eddie as well.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Wright added: “He [Nketiah] should have forced himself by now, especially with Laca.
“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’.
“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.”