Chris Sutton has named the Arsenal star who has ‘no future’ under Mikel Arteta following Sunday’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Liverpool.
The Gunners were dumped out of the competition in just the third round and must now win the Premier League or Champions League to register any more silverware this term, having clinched the Community Shield in August.
Arsenal have been in poor form in England’s top-flight, though, winning just one of their last five Premier League fixtures and are now five points behind leaders Liverpool, with Arteta’s team dropping to fourth in the table.
The north Londoners’ blip has seen a number of players come under the microscope and many have argued Arsenal need a new striker if they are to have any chance of tasting glory this season.
Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah are Arsenal’s two main strikers and the former missed the FA Cup loss to Liverpool due to a knee problem.
Nketiah was expected to start up front but instead found himself on the bench – having played 90 minutes in the previous match and failing to score as Arsenal lost 2-1 to Fulham – with manager Arteta deciding to pick Kai Havertz instead.
Sutton feels that Nketiah, who has attracted interest from Crystal Palace – with Arsenal open to selling him for £30m – does not have a future at the Emirates.
‘If I’m Eddie Nketiah, I’m wondering how I’m benched and [thinking that] I don’t have a future at Arsenal if I’m not starting as a central striker,’ Sutton told the It’s All Kicking Off Podcast.
‘[Mikel Arteta is] desperate, I get that, but what message does that send to Nketiah if Havertz is at number nine, what is Nketiah thinking?
‘If I’m Nketiah, I’m thinking I can’t stay at Arsenal any longer, if you play a guy who has shackles on, come on, he has no future at Arsenal.’
Nketiah has produced five goals and three assists across 19 top-flight matches this term but many pundits have questioned his ability, with Mikel Arteta forced to defend his player in November.
Arsenal want to recruit a new striker in January and have made Ivan Toney their No.1 target but must offload some players if they are to bring in new faces.
Brentford having set a new asking price of £100m for their biggest star as they look to try and keep him at the Gtech Community Stadium.