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Arsenal Striker Eddie Nketiah Blasted As Not Good Enough For Fulham

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Arsenal Striker Eddie Nketiah Blasted As Not Good Enough For Fulham

Eddie Nketiah's change of number at Arsenal had come under criticism from fans, and now former star Paul Merson has claimed the striker wouldn't even start for Fulham.

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Nketiah had looked set to leave the Gunners, for most of last season, with his contract due to end in the summer and no sign of a breakthrough for an extension.

However, earlier this month his new deal was confirmed, following a great run of form at the end of the previous league campaign, and he was handed the number 14 shirt.

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At Arsenal, the number is synonymous with Thierry Henry and fans and pundits were quick to criticise, and mock, the choice, with one of his teammates speaking out in favour of the 23-year-old.

Nketiah with his new shirt number. Image: Arsenal
Nketiah with his new shirt number. Image: Arsenal

Now it's not just his ability to live up to the number worn by Henry that's been questioned, but his ability to play for Mikel Arteta's side at all.

Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson has claimed the forward wouldn't even start for Everton or Fulham, never mind a side trying to get into the top four.

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"All Arsenal have got up front right now is Eddie Nketiah, who recently signed a new contract when it looked like he might leave," Merson told the Daily Star whilst writing about the club's need to sign Gabriel Jesus.

"And no disrespect to Nketiah but Mikel Arteta must realise he won't get you into the top four. Absolutely no chance. That's a fact.

Nketiah was in good form at the end of last season. Image: Alamy
Nketiah was in good form at the end of last season. Image: Alamy

"Nketiah can't be spearheading your Champions League push. He's not getting in ahead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison at Everton and they almost got relegated.

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"He's not getting in at Fulham ahead of Aleksandar Mitrovic and they've only just been promoted. I'm not having a go at him but he's not getting you top four."

Nketiah wasn't Arteta's first choice at the beginning of last season but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left in January, after the club agreed to release him.

No signing was brought in to replace the Barcelona forward and Alexandre Lacazette's powers were well on the wane, leading to Nketiah getting a run as the number nine.

Nketiah was compared to Everton's two forwards. Image: Alamy
Nketiah was compared to Everton's two forwards. Image: Alamy
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He scored five goals in seven games but the north London side still fell short of getting a Champions League spot, as rivals Tottenham Hotspur nicked it instead.

Arteta's team have been linked with moves for Everton pair Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, whilst Leeds United forward Raphina has reportedly been subject of a £50 million bid from the club.

Jesus remains their number one target, with Manchester City seemingly willing to sell the Brazilian with the introduction of Erling Haaland this summer.

Merson certainly wants the 25-year-old to join, adding, "If they get Jesus I think Arsenal fans can start to get excited. But if they don't, they are going to be so far short."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, Eddie Nketiah, Paul Merson, Premier League, Fulham, Everton

Ryan Sidle
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