Graeme Souness praises Eddie Nketiah for giving Arsenal ‘a new dimension’ in win over West Ham


Graeme Souness heaps praise on Eddie Nketiah for giving Arsenal ‘a new dimension’ in the vital win over West Ham – but warns other clubs will be circling for the striker who is out of contract at the end of the season

  • Graeme Souness praised Eddie Nketiah for his performance against West Ham
  • Souness feels Nketiah’s displays will have alerted other clubs to his availability
  • Nketiah has forced his way into starting lineup but is out of contract this summer 

Graeme Souness has lauded Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah for giving the team ‘a new dimension’ in the 2-1 victory over West Ham.

Although Nketiah didn’t get on the scoresheet at London Stadium, the 22-year-old was a lively presence and worked very hard for the team.

Souness described Nketiah as ‘the best player on the pitch today’ as Arsenal secured what could prove to be a very important victory in their quest to secure a top four finish.

Graeme Souness praised Eddie Nketiah for his performance as Arsenal beat West Ham

Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness said: ‘Arsenal looked a good team today. They found another yard today. Nketiah was the best player on the pitch today. I think in terms of West Ham, they didn’t carry a threat for me. The second Arsenal goal was so avoidable for me.’

Earlier in the season Nketiah was on the periphery of proceedings at Arsenal as he was frequently left out of the squad and then received minimal playing time in the Premier League.

However, in recent weeks he has forced his way into the starting lineup at the expense of club captain Alexandre Lacazette, who has had a frustrating campaign. 

Nketiah hit a brace in Arsenal’s win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and was also impressive in the victory at home to Manchester United. 

Souness believes Nketiah's displays will lead to increased interest in him from other clubs

Souness believes Nketiah’s displays will lead to increased interest in him from other clubs

Souness feels that Nketiah provides Arsenal with an extra edge with the runs that he makes, as opposed to Lacazette, who can often be rather static.  

Souness said: ‘Nketiah has given them a new dimension. The amount of times he was running in behind Zouma. Lacazette doesn’t give you that.’

Nketiah also showed a willingness to stand up for himself and was involved in a confrontation with West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell and Declan Rice late on.

Souness feels that Nketiah’s performances will have ‘put him in the shop window’ in terms of alerting other clubs to sign him. 

Souness feels Nketiah is a superior option to Alexandre Lacazette, who was on the bench again

Souness feels Nketiah is a superior option to Alexandre Lacazette, who was on the bench again

Nketiah made some impressive runs  in behind the West Ham defence as Arsenal prevailed

Nketiah made some impressive runs  in behind the West Ham defence as Arsenal prevailed

There remains much uncertainty regarding Nketiah’s future at Arsenal, with his current contract set to expire at the end of June.

Although Lacazette is also nearing the end of his current deal, there is no guarantee of regular playing time for Nketiah if he was to remain at Arsenal next season given the possibility of the Gunners bringing in a new striker. 

Souness believes that the interest from other clubs in Nketiah will now have intensified. 

Souness said: He [Nketiah] changed the game. He goes fine if you want to kick me I’ll kick you back. He’s put himself in the shop window and people will be looking to sign him this summer.’

Arsenal took the lead against West Ham through Rob Holding before Jarrod Bowen equalised. Gabriel proved to be the hero for the Gunners as he got the winner in the 54th minute. 

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