Alan Smith feels Eddie Nketiah must now show ‘a bit more’ if he is to lead Arsenal’s attack following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Barcelona transfer, via Sports sky pillar.
The Gunners ended the January window without signing a striker, having failed to pursue Current Juventus star, Dusan Vlahovic. The Serbian could offer Mikel Arteta a long-term option with Alexandre Lacazette and Nketiah both out of contract at the end of the season.
Summer free agents Lacazette and Nketiah are currently Arteta’s only natural options, although winger Gabriel Martinelli can also start central. Aubameyang, who went into exile after a discipline problem resulted in the loss of the captaincy in December, agreeing to terminate his contract.
Barcelona have signed Aubameyang on a free transfer after Arsenal confirmed His exited on Tuesday. He signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the La Liga giants on a deal that has 100 million euros (£83m) release clause. They could also agree to part ways in 2023.
Smith not sure Nketiah is ready to replace Aubameyang at Arsenal
Aubameyang’s move to Barcelona has now made Arteta no longer able to lead Arsenal’s attack. Lacazette has shouldered the burden since Aubameyang last played against Everton on December 6. But he has only scored twice in their last seven games.
Lacazette’s goals against Southampton and Norwich also took the 30-year-old to just three in 16 appearances this season. He also suggested all three of his assists in December.
Therefore, Smith expects Arteta to give Nketiah the opportunity to lead Arsenal’s attack. But the hero of the Gunners expressed doubts about the ability to hold the role of the England U21 star. He also questioned whether Arteta believes Nketiah is ready for the responsibilities that Aubameyang’s departure may now bring.
“You would imagine he would get more opportunities now than he used to,” he Written. “We will wait and see. It seems to me that Arteta is not convinced by him as a starter.
“He has played well in the Carabao Cup and has scored, but that mainly comes down to clubs in the lower divisions. When he got his chance early in the Premier League, he wasn’t really convinced that he was the man who could lead the squad.
“He’s a box poacher and you need a little more than that as a striker in Arteta’s system – especially when you’re playing in the middle by yourself.
“So he still has a lot to prove at Arsenal but whether he can do it in the next few months, who knows. He can do it. ”
Nketiah has so far played 51 minutes in Arsenal’s four Premier League matches this season. He has also yet to score or start a game, with all of his five goals this term coming in Carabao Cup games. His only attack against the top opposition was against Leeds United.
https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/02/02/not-really-convinced-smith-feels-arsenal-man-must-show-a-little-bit-more/ Smith feels the Arsenal man must show ‘a little bit more’