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'Different energy': Ian Wright says 23-year-old Arsenal player could be totally transformed this season
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

'Different energy': Ian Wright says 23-year-old Arsenal player could be totally transformed this season

Ian Wright has high hopes for striker Eddie Nketiah this season, and believes the influence of Gabriel Jesus is going to help transform him.

The 23-year-old signed a new deal at The Emirates this summer amid plenty of speculation about his future.

After waiting in the wings behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette last season, Nketiah is now deputy to new signing Gabriel Jesus.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

And on his podcast Wrighty’s House, the former Arsenal striker talked about how excited he is to see Nketiah develop this season under the guidance of Mikel Arteta’s new number nine.  “From Eddie Nketiah’s perspective, you finish the season scoring goals, he gets his contract, we don’t if he’s leaving all the way through to that stage.

“Then we buy Jesus after he’s signed his five-year deal, and then you’ve got to put yourself in Eddie’s shoes, ‘I’m behind him now, I’ve just been behind Lacazette and Aubameyang’

“But what Eddie’s got to understand is he’s behind an elite striker and he will get enough games where he can play, but I what saw even when Eddie came on, for the little time he came on, was a different energy.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

“He’s training with someone like that every day, you hearing Gabriel Jesus saying that they’re doing finishing (practice) in training, he says he’s a brilliant player, he’s going to be a great player, and Arsenal have two very good strikers here now.

“I guarantee if people watch Eddie and see the way he plays now, like for instance if he plays in a Europa League game instead of Jesus, there’s a different energy to him, simply because of Jesus.”

Wright believes Nketiah will be transformed this season

Nketiah has been in and around the Arsenal first team since he made his debut back in 2017.

In this time, he’s managed 61 Premier League appearances, but only 19 starts, and has scored 10 league goals.

He spent six months on loan at Leeds United during their promotion season under Marcelo Bielsa, but couldn’t dislodge Patrick Bamford from the team and the move was cut short.

Nketiah showed glimpses of the form he’s displayed on international duty – where he scored 16 goals in 17 games for the under-21s – at the end of last season.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

He became Arteta’s starting striker for the final eight games of the last season and scored 5 goals, but couldn’t do enough to help the Gunners return to the Champions League.

However, he’s likely to once again second fiddle to another forward this season, but Wright believes he’ll to learn a lot from Jesus due to his willingness to work with Nketiah.

Nketiah has admitted he would be happy to play out of position if it means playing more minutes, but the 23-year-old should be given plenty of opportunities in the cups and Europa League to showcase his talent as a striker.

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