Eddie Nketiah 'will never accept' bench role at Arsenal in warning to Mikel Arteta
| Last updated
Eddie Nketiah has revealed he will not accept a 'backup role' at Arsenal in a stark warning to Mikel Arteta.
Despite his frequent involvement during pre-season, however, Nketiah was largely used as back-up for Gabriel Jesus last term.
As it turned out, the Englishman proved crucial when Jesus required surgery for a knee injury which ruled the 26-year-old out for over three months.
In his absence, Nketiah displayed he was capable of leading the line, scoring a memorable brace against Manchester United in January. But the goals soon dried up and he found himself back among the substitutes.
Nevertheless, the Hale End academy graduate notched a respectable nine goals in all competitions last season, with the striker clearly eager to better that tally in the 2023/24 campaign.
Although Nketiah has warned that he will 'never accept' playing second fiddle at Arsenal
Nketiah sends warning to Arteta
Speaking during Arsenal's pre-season tour of the United States, Nketiah told reporters (quotes via NowArsenal): “No I don’t think I have accepted being a backup and I will never accept that.
"That’s not my mentality. That’s not why I signed here to sit and be second best. I want to be the best, I want to play and that’s the mentality I have.
“I realise I might not play every game and that’s the coach’s decision but it’s never going to be my mentality to accept not playing.
“I am going to always push in training to get opportunities to show why I think I should be playing and to give the manager a headache. Most players should have that mentality. There’s ways to do it. There is no point sitting around and moaning every day.
"The manager’s door is always open so you can have conversations but you have to show it on the pitch, there is no point sitting outside the pitch and complaining.”
Teammate Folarin Balogun has also made his position clear to the manager, revealing that he will not accept a bench role at the Emirates and would prefer to play regularly elsewhere.