Paul Merson has praised Gunners striker Eddie Nketiah
Former Arsenal player Paul Merson believes the Gunners’ hopes for a Premier League top-four finish could very well depend on Eddie Nketiah’s form. The 54-year-old lauded the English striker’s work rate but demanded more consistency.
Nketiah scored two crucial goals for the Gunners in their 4-2 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. These were only his first and second goals in the Premier League this season in 15 appearances.
With the win, Arsenal moved level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners are fifth due to their inferior goal difference (10-18).
When asked about whether Nketiah could help the Gunners secure the fourth spot, Merson told Sky Sports after the match (via Daily Mail):
“He could be a four out of ten next week. He could be, if he wasn’t, he’d be in the team every week. That’s his second start all season so the consistency levels are not there but if he gets consistent for three or four games then Arsenal come fourth. He’s a natural goalscorer. His first goal is a phenomenal finish and his second is just as good.”
Merson also compared Nketiah to his teammate Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman has scored just four goals this season in 26 league appearances.
Merson believes that the Englishman is a “better finisher” than Lacazette. He said:
“He’s willing to run beyond, Lazacette wouldn’t chase that first one down. He wouldn’t have scored those two goals even though he is a good footballer, probably a better footballer (than Nketiah) but not a better finisher.”
Arsenal make a big comeback to keep their push for the Premier League top four alive
Arsenal faced three consecutive defeats in the Premier League before their win over Chelsea. They lost to Crystal Palace, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Southampton, scoring just one goal in the three matches.
This saw them fall from pole position for the fourth spot to being in the chasing pack. They are now back with a win against tough competitors and are level on points with their fierce rivals.
Arsenal next face Manchester United on Saturday at the Emirates in what will be another tough game. They will hope to take confidence from Wednesday’s win and beat a disarrayed Red Devils side.
The Premier League top-four race will likely be decided in the North London Derby scheduled for May 12 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.