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    Former Chelsea forward Chris Sutton admits that he misjudged Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah’s abilities as a forward

    Football   |   January 25, 2023

     

    Arsenal were riding high until star forward Gabriel Jesus went down with injury. While the Brazilian was sidelined many experts thoughts it was the end of the road for the Gunners as most of them felt that they did not have a player in their ranks to match Jesus’ capability as a forward to connect the midfield with the forwardline and also be a very proficient passer involving the wingers in the attacking buildup. However youngster Eddie Nketiah raised his hand up at a time of adversity and till now he has proved everyone wrong with his brilliant skills on and off the ball.

    Former Chelsea forward Chris Sutton who doubted Nketiah abilities has now lavished praise on him after he delivered some exceptional performance for the Gunners. He admitted that he had underestimated the young forward and he has exceeded the expectations of all the fans and experts.

    “But on Eddie Nketiah, I got it wrong. I described Gabriel Jesus as ‘irreplaceable’ when he was injured. I thought Arsenal would struggle without him. Admit it, you probably did, too. His high press. His link-up play. His creativity. His leadership, having come from a club in Manchester City that demands nothing less than winning,” Sutton stated.

    He highlighted how Gabriel Jesus was pivotal to their plans and gameplay and suddenly when Mikel Arteta was about to miss months of those attributes, most people thought Arsenal will now certainly lose their way. But then came Nketiah who lifted the spirits and gradually became the player they needed in Jesus’ absence.

    “All were key to Arsenal turning into surprise title contenders and suddenly, Mikel Arteta was facing months without those attributes. Yes, I thought they’d struggle. But Nketiah has proved me and plenty of others wrong,” the former Chelsea striker added.

    Sutton also shared how England manager Gareth Southgate will be keeping a close eye on the youngster and his performances this season. He feels that Nketiah can be the answer to England’s striker problems after Harry Kane. They have tried several players including Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy, Callum Wilson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Ivan Toney. But till now looking at the credentials and quality, Nketiah is a tad bit ahead of these players in terms of adding more facets as a forward.

    “England manager Gareth Southgate can only be loving this. For so long, we’ve wondered who can deputize for Harry Kane. Callum Wilson? Dominic Calvert-Lewin? Ivan Toney? Danny Ings? Well, how about the guy who took over from Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers as the record scorer for England’s Under 21s? Nketiah is showing why all is not lost if we lose Kane,” Sutton opined on the Arsenal youngster.

    Gabriel Jesus picked up a knee injury in Brazil’s World Cup campaign and since then Nketiah has been proving himself as his worthy back up for Arsenal. He recently scored a brace which included a late winner to help the Gunners win against the upbeat Manchester United. The win helped the North London outfit get five points clear of second placed Manchester City with a match in hand.

     

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