Mikel Arteta tells Eddie Nketiah that Arsenal ‘need him’ in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence

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 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Mikel Arteta has reiterated his desire for Eddie Nketiah to stay at Arsenal and has told the striker he could get more minutes in the coming weeks due to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being out of the team.

Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy by Arsenal earlier this month and he has not been in the squad for the past four games.

The forward is currently training on his own and he is expected to continue to do so before he heads to the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

It means Arsenal are short on attacking options and asked if Nketiah could get more minutes over the Christmas period as a result, Arteta said: “Yes.

“Recently he’s played more minutes than in the past and we’re going to need him, and he’s going to play minutes.”

Nketiah’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the season and he is refusing to pen fresh terms.

But Arteta said: “We are trying. It’s not about anything else but minutes. He wants game time, he wants to be on that field and that is the only reason to say, can I do it here? That’s the question. We all want him to stay.

“I tell you every day that we want to keep Eddie. We see how he trains, that’s what he does every day, he works so hard and puts the ball in the net every session. I am really delighted with him. Every time we have needed him, he has always responded.

“I don’t know if he’s different to other other strikers, but I really like what he has. He has incredible work rate, he has pace and has the smell for goals.

“He has the capacity to finish in the box on any surface, and then I really like his character. He wants to be the best and works all the time to do that. He’s a player that has come through our system and that’s why we want to keep him.”

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