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‘He wouldn’t start for Fulham!’: Paul Merson SLAMS Arsenal’s decision to hand Eddie Nketiah a new contract as he claims the striker wouldn’t get a game at Everton – and says Mikel Arteta must realise the academy product ‘won’t get you top four’
- Paul Merson has slammed Arsenal’s decision to give Eddie Nketiah a new deal
- The 23-year-old signed a contract until 2027 after strong end to last season
- Merson claims that the young striker is not good enough to lead Arsenal’s attack
- Gunners legend says Nketiah ‘wouldn’t start’ for a number of struggling sides
Arsenal legend Paul Merson has slammed the club’s decision to hand Eddie Nketiah a new contract ahead of the upcoming season.
The 23-year-old striker was set to be a free agent this summer, but despite interest elsewhere, he penned fresh terms with the Gunners until 2027, in a deal thought to be worth £100,000 a week.
However, Merson believes that Arteta’s side should have looked elsewhere to bolster their attack and claims that Nketiah wouldn’t start for relegation-struggling sides in the Premier League.
Eddie Nketiah was rewarded with a new deal at Arsenal after a strong end to the season
Paul Merson believes that Nketiah is not good to fire Arsenal back to the Champions League
Speaking to the Daily Star, Merson said: ‘All Arsenal have got up front right now is Eddie Nketiah, who recently signed a new contract when it looked like he might leave.
‘And no disrespect to Nketiah but Mikel Arteta must realise he won’t get you into the top four. Absolutely no chance. That’s a fact.
‘Nketiah can’t be spearheading your Champions League push. He’s not getting in ahead of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison at Everton and they almost got relegated.
‘He’s not getting in at Fulham ahead of Aleksandr Mitrovic and they’ve only just been promoted. I’m not having a go at him but he’s not getting you top four.’
Nketiah was also rewarded with the iconic No.14 shirt – previously worn by Thierry Henry
The 23-year-old scored all five of his league goals in the last two months of the season
The 23-year-old had been strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates but after a prolific end to the season, he earned himself a new deal as well as the iconic No.14 shirt previously worn by Thierry Henry.
Following the departure of Alexandre Lacazette at the end the campaign, Nketiah has been left as the only recognised striker in the squad – leading the Gunners to search for attacking reinforcements this window.
Man City’s Gabriel Jesus leads the list and they’ve also shown serious interest in Leeds’ winger Raphinha – having already sealed the £34million signing of Fabio Vieira.
Merson suggested that Arteta has to sign the Brazilian striker ‘if they are serious about getting back into the top four’.
Arsenal have been warned that they must sign Gabriel Jesus in order to finish in the top four
Merson added: ‘Arsenal must get Gabriel Jesus if they are serious about getting back into the top four. They have got to get him. It’s that simple.
‘Everything goes out of the window if they don’t. It doesn’t matter what else they do. All they’ve got right now up front is Eddie Nketiah. And no disrespect but Nketiah won’t get you into the top four. Absolutely no chance. That’s a fact.’
There is now a confidence that completion is close for the Brazilian, who has been Arsenal’s priority target.