Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has taken a swipe at his ex-club for having Eddie Nketiah as their only striker heading into the new campaign.
Arsenal lost Alexandre Lacazette to Lyon for free this month, leaving Nketiah and Folarin Balogun as their only out-and-out centre-forward options.
Balogun, for his part, has only experienced regular senior football during the second half of last season whilst he was on loan at Middlesbrough. The young striker showed clear signs of quality, but was hampered by Chris Wilder’s constant chopping and changing of his front-two.
As for Nketiah, he endured a terrible 2021/22 until the campaign's closing months, when he scored three goals in four outings. However, the England youth international still only managed to net five league goals all season.
As a result, now, Merson has suggested that Nketiah would not even be a guaranteed starter for a club like Fulham:
“All Arsenal have got up front right now is Eddie Nketiah, who recently signed a new contract when it looked like he might leave,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“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.”
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