WOW! Gary Neville names Arsenal star as his most surprising player of the season – Not Saka
Gary Neville has admitted that he has been surprised by how well Eddie Nketiah has performed for Arsenal this season.
Nketiah has scored nine goals in 27 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners so far this campaign. The 23-year-old has stepped into the boots of Gabriel Jesus since the Brazilian striker picked up an injury at the World Cup.
Seven of his goals have come in the last nine matches since the season restarted, with his impact up front helping Arsenal maintain momentum at the top of the Premier League table. His high point came when he scored twice in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Manchester United last month.
Nketiah has been used primarily as a back-up striker during his time at Arsenal and Neville conceded that he had underestimated him. Asked which Premier League player had surprised the most this season, Neville told The Overlap : ”I’m going to go [for] Nketiah. I thought when Jesus got injured, I thought that could be a problem. I think he’s played really well for Arsenal.”
Neville is not alone in being surprised by Nketiah’s impact. Fellow pundit Chris Sutton also made a similar admission last month, saying he had “proved me and plenty of others wrong” by grabbing his opportunity “with both hands”.
Nketiah’s two goals against United did earn huge praise from one prominent voice, at least, with Roy Keane comparing him to Ian Wright. “He reminds me in his movement and even his interviews – and I’m gonna put him under huge pressure here – of Ian Wright,” he said on Sky Sports.
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“Like he used to do, not getting many touches but that sharpness in the box, which we see as well for the winning goal. If you’re hanging around the box and you’re a sharp striker, you’ll get your chances and your goals.”
Nketiah’s form has been so consistent of late that Jesus might not get his place back in the side once he’s fit. Jesus has now returned to Arsenal’s London Colney training ground, but he is still some way off returning to the pitch.
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