'Playing very well': Paul Merson wowed by 23-year-old's displays for Arsenal recently
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

'Playing very well': Paul Merson wowed by 23-year-old's displays for Arsenal recently

Paul Merson has paid tribute to Eddie Nketiah and his performances for Arsenal since deputising for Gabriel Jesus.

Merson wrote in his column for SportsKeeda that the 23-year-old deserves credit for how he has done since the World Cup.

There was also praise for Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, who have been stars for the Gunners all season, while Nketiah has had to be more patient.

Arsenal face Tottenham on Sunday afternoon, where Antonio Conte’s side will be desperate to put a dent in their bitter rivals’ title hopes.

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Merson hails Nketiah

He said: “Eddie Nketiah is playing very well at the moment, and I expected nothing less in his first three or four games.

“He needs to keep going now – that’s how the top players do it. He will score goals, and he’s got attributes that Gabriel Jesus does not have.

“He’s been patient and I’ll give him his due – I hope it keeps going for him. I think Odegaard and Saka have been great.

“Everyone has been outstanding for Arsenal, and that’s why they are where they are.”

Before the restart, he claimed he worried the striker was not good enough to lead the line for Arsenal, and made the point he thinks Nketiah could do it for three games but not a longer period.

He even suggested that the striker wouldn’t even be an attractive option for Wolves, who were bottom of the Premier League table at that stage.

He said: “It’s a massive worry for Arsenal that they’re now relying on out-of-form Nketiah. Without being horrible, what Premier League team does Nketiah get in? Wolves are bottom for instance, they’re desperate for a goal and they wouldn’t go and get him.

“For me, it’s really worrying. Arsenal have three very difficult games over Christmas in West Ham, Brighton and Newcastle. Nketiah might deliver for three games but I just don’t see him doing it for 10 or more matches.”

Nketiah netted in the West Ham and Brighton wins, while he could hardly do much more with the one chance he got against Newcastle, but Nick Pope saved well.

Nketiah got a double on Monday night against Oxford United and will be looking to keep his scoring run going on Sunday and beyond.

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