The England U21 international stepped off the bench to earn the Gunners a point against Fulham, bringing a frustrating run to a close
Eddie Nketiah admits to having endured a “disappointing” time at Arsenal in 2020-21, with the 21-year-old bringing a four-month goal drought to a close against Fulham.
The highly-rated frontman stepped off the bench to earn the Gunners a dramatic late point in a 1-1 draw with the Cottagers.
That stoppage-time effort was his first since December 10, with the Emirates Stadium academy graduate slipping down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta.
What has been said?
Nketiah told Arsenal’s official website after getting back on the goal trail: “I think I had a very good first half of the season, I was getting a lot of games, but in recent weeks I’ve not played as much as I would’ve liked to.
“It’s been disappointing but I always work hard, prepare well and make sure I’m ready when I’m called on. It’s always nice when you get the chance to make sure you take it, and luckily I did.”
Nketiah’s record at Arsenal
The all-time leading scorer for England’s U21 side was given regular game time by Arteta after being welcomed back from a loan spell at Leeds in January 2020.
He hit four goals through 17 appearances in that campaign, while adding a further six efforts to his tally this term.
Nketiah fell out of favour around Christmas time, making just one FA Cup start in 2021, and saw talk of another loan move sparked during the winter window.
No deal was put in place and the youngster is now looking to make the most of enforced absences for striking rivals Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who are nursing an injury and bout of malaria respectively.
The bigger picture
Arsenal need to find attacking inspiration from somewhere, with the stalemate against London rivals Fulham leaving the Europa League semi-finalists ninth in the Premier League table.
Nketiah is ready to step up, saying of his mood after netting late on against the Cottagers: “It’s great to get on the scoresheet and salvage a point for the team.
“We fought very hard and we were very good at the tail-end of the game, so I think it’s the least we deserved. It’s always nice to score for Arsenal.
“It feels good, to be fair. It’s a bit of belief, I think it’s the least we deserved, like I said. Of course we would’ve wanted the three points, but in the circumstances and how late it was, it has to be good to at least get a point.”
The Gunners will be back in action on Friday when they play host to Everton.