Arteta feels Nketiah guilt
Mikel Arteta spoke to the press ahead of Arsenal’s upcoming match with Burnley and revealed that he feels an element of guilt regarding the lack of opportunities which have been available recently to England youth international Eddie Nketiah.
Nketiah had been a regular feature for Mikel Arteta this season, mainly as a substitute. However, in recent weeks, he has failed to make the matchday squad even with the bench being extended to allow for 9 substitute options.
Arteta said that none of the reasons behind his absence have been down to his professionalism or performance but purely the competition for places in the team.
“When we were talking about management this is one of the hardest decisions for me to leave someone like Eddie out of the squad. At the moment everybody is fit and we have so many options up front,” said Arteta.
“It hurts as well because of how Eddie behaves, how Eddie trains every day, and because he’s a player from our academy. He will have his chance, he needs to be patient. He is showing no signs of lacking attitude or something like that it’s completely the opposite.”
“He is a joy to work with and he deserves minutes, and if he doesn’t get it it’s just my fault.”
With the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to decent form and Alexandre Lacazette also scoring, the possibility for Nketiah to get minutes is, unsurprisingly, slim. With a only year left on his current deal after this season, it is not beyond reason that he could look to leave Arsenal in the summer in search of regular game time.
Saliba & Mavropanos
What was most interesting in the press conference was the Spanish coach explaining that both he and the club were keeping close tabs on William Saliba and Konstantinos Mavropanos, who have left the club on loan.
The Greek defender joined Stuttgart at the beginning of the season whereas the Frenchman left Arsenal in January having experienced a tricky six months at the club.
Arteta was asked about the pair and spoke of the close attention he and his team are paying to them.
“We are having meetings very often to assess what they are doing. Obviously, we are getting all the information and watching their games because I want to keep a very close eye on what they are doing. We were talking yesterday with our loans manager Ben Knapper, who is in charge of monitoring everything that we are doing,” he said.
“We are in contact with the players and let’s see. It’s good news that they’re playing and good news that they have the possibility to have a lot of minutes, because that’s going to give us a much better perception of where they are and how we can use them.”
With David Luiz having his contract expire at the end of the season and Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis already having left, there is an opportunity for a right-sided centre-back to come in and promote themselves to the first team squad.
Either one of Saliba or Mavropanos have the chance to claim this with solid performances whilst away from the club.
Former Arsenal recruitment specialist Sven Mislintat has Stuttgart contract extended after overseeing fantastic squad construction and league competitiveness
This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.
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