Mikel Arteta tells Eddie Nketiah to follow Emile Smith Rowe’s example in taking Arsenal chance

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·2-min read
Mikel Arteta tells Eddie Nketiah to follow Emile Smith Rowe’s example in taking Arsenal chance
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has urged Eddie Nketiah to use Emile Smith Rowe’s rise as a blueprint for how he can earn more minutes.

Smith Rowe burst onto the scene last season, unexpectedly starting against Chelsea on Boxing Day and inspiring Arsenal to victory.

The attacking midfielder has since become a regular for Arsenal and Arteta believes his sudden rise can inspire Nketiah.

The striker has struggled for minutes this season, but he took his chance of a rare start on Wednesday to score twice against Chelsea.

“If you have that character and that quality, to show it immediately or very quickly, things can turn very quickly,” said Arteta. “Look what happened with Eddie in the last two weeks.

“In football anything can happen. Emile had three months out with his shoulder and a lot of things happened, he was getting back and he was looking really good, and we decided to give him the opportunity.

“But then he had to step in and he had to perform. He has done it really consistently and especially this season as well with the amount of goals he is scoring.

“Eddie has this capacity. What he needs is opportunity, time and support, especially when he has difficult moments. If you are ready and prepared to do it, I am sure he will be successful.”

Nketiah is out of contract in the summer and, despite Arsenal offering him fresh terms, he has refused to pen a new deal.

Eddie Nketiah took his chance at Stamford Bridge with both hands (Action Images via Reuters)
Eddie Nketiah took his chance at Stamford Bridge with both hands (Action Images via Reuters)

Crystal Palace are keen on the striker and Arteta has admitted he has not given the 22-year-old enough minutes.

“It is because the space that he had in the team because of his personal situation, his contractual situation,” said Arteta.

“But he doesn’t give us anything else than the best every single day, the way he trains, the way he wants to improve, the attention that he pays, how he behaves when he plays when he doesn’t play.

“He is just a phenomenal player and he has shown, not to me, I think to the whole team and that’s why he is so respected in the dressing room the type of person he is.

“He has this special ability that the ball lands where he is. He is able to read the situation or modify his position very quickly in relation to what he expects to happen and the ball gets to him and when that happens most of the time he puts the ball in the net.”

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