Hargreaves says he's been blown away by progress of Eddie Nketiah
Owen Hargreaves has told The Kelly and Wrighty Show that he has been blown away by how much progress Eddie Nketiah has made, and suggested that his Arsenal teammates will now be looking at him in a different light.
Nketiah has certainly silenced any doubts over how Arsenal would fare without Gabriel Jesus. The 23-year-old has scored six goals in six games since the domestic season resumed.
His latest two goals came in the dramatic 3-2 win over Manchester United at the Emirates. His winner sent the ground into a frenzy. And it appears to have confirmed his status as a top striker in the Premier League.
Hargreaves blown away by the progress from Nketiah
Few could have imagined just how good Nketiah would be this season. It appeared that he would need to leave Arsenal to secure any kind of regular game-time this term.
He did have to be patient, with Gabriel Jesus proving to be an outstanding signing. But he has taken his chance with both hands since Jesus has been sidelined with injury.
It appears that it may not only be onlookers who have been surprised by Nketiah. Hargreaves has claimed that those alongside in the dressing room will also be looking at the youngster differently now that he has proved himself on such a stage.
“I think now his teammates are going to see him in a different light,” he told The Kelly and Wrighty Show. “As much as they probably love him and respect him, when you score two goals against Manchester United like that, you put yourself in a different category.
“You’re not an academy player anymore. You’re an established player. When Gabriel Jesus comes back, you could probably flip a coin. Is he going to walk back into the side? I’ve been blown away by his progression.”
Arteta’s track record suggests striker’s improvement should come as no surprise
We should have known that Nketiah would find a different level this season. This Arsenal side is now littered with players who have made remarkable progress under Arteta.
Aaron Ramsdale went from back-to-back relegations to a World Cup squad with England. Granit Xhaka has made one of the most incredible comebacks in Premier League history. And Martin Odegaard has got his previously-stuttering career back on track.
You would struggle to name a single prominent player within the Arsenal squad who has not improved under Arteta. So it makes perfect sense that Nketiah is now one of the most lethal strikers in the division.