The Gunners’ backup striker is not considered quality enough to help the club to keep their place at the top of the league table until the end of the season. The media has also fed these notions by reporting that the club are looking for a direct replacement for Jesus in January.
If this is true, this means Nketiah, who was on the verge of leaving at the end of last season, will be playing backup to a new striker after being promised a more prominent role. So far, he has been gracious and professional playing alongside Jesus but the media reportage could ignite fires.
The Three Lions youth legend has, however, chosen to focus on the positives for his career. While he regrets what happened to Jesus, he believes it is an opportunity for him to step up to the plate and show that he has the quality to be a Premier League winning striker.
“Of course, it is an opportunity for myself. These things happen in football, unfortunately, so you’ve just got to be ready for the moment when it comes,” he said. “I have been working hard, I’ve been working hard all season and I’m sure when I get the opportunity I’ll be able to come in and help the team.”
Nketiah has played 19 games for Arsenal this season. 12 of those have been substitute appearances in the Premier League while the other seven have been starts in the UEFA Europa League and Carabao Cup games.
He has scored three goals across his cup appearances but is yet to find the back of the net in his 12 league appearances which has fueled the rumours of Arsenal seeking out a striker in the January transfer window.
He will most likely be getting his first start against West Ham United on December 26 when the Premier League resumes after the World Cup. However, it remains to be seen if the Gunners will choose to sign a direct replacement for Jesus in January.
At the moment though, all directions point to Nketiah leading the line for Arteta at the moment and it will be interesting to see how the Academy graduate can make use of the opportunity set to be afforded to him.