Sam Allardyce is convinced Mikel Arteta promised Eddie Nketiah game time at Arsenal
Sam Allardyce has now said that he thinks Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has promised Eddie Nketiah more game time.
Allardyce was speaking on the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast about the Arsenal forward.
Things couldn’t really be going better at The Emirates right now.
Mikel Arteta’s side are top of the league with a five-point gap over Manchester City.
They’re only halfway through the season, but their position in the league is very much deserved.
Arteta has got the very best out of his young squad, who seemed to be improving every week.
Although Arsenal didn’t secure their top transfer targets, they did make some astute additions.
Leandro Trossard, Jakub Kiwior and Jorginho are unlikely to walk into the starting line-up.
However, they all offer Arteta useful alternatives during a busy second half of the campaign.
One player Arteta decided he didn’t need to bring in competition for was Eddie Nketiah.
The 23-year-old has been outstanding since being thrust into the side after Gabriel Jesus’s injury.
Allardyce believes Arteta must have promised more Nketiah more game time, and that’s certainly paid off.
Allardyce thinks Arteta made Nketiah game time promise
Speaking on his podcast about the young forward, Allardyce said: “He’s matured, hasn’t he? Because it was big, big news that he was going to leave on a free or certainly a small fee because he let his contract run out last season.
“But they managed to persuade him to stay. On the back of that they must have got some comfort of the manager that he was going to get some games in.
“Because it was the time of his life to either move on and play first-team football for somebody rather than be a bit-part player.”
Arsenal did have the option to recall Folarin Balogun as an alternative to Nketiah, but decided against it.
Both young forwards are now top scorers for their respective clubs this season.
Arsenal coaches have been working especially hard to help Nketiah improve in training.
It’s quite clearly paying off as he looks like a much more well-rounded player now compared to 12 months ago.
Nketiah is playing more under Arteta due to Jesus’s injury, rather than Allardyce’s presumption he’s been promised more minutes.
He couldn’t break into the side when the Brazilian was fit, despite his obvious improvement.
He’s now essential to how Arsenal play, and Arteta has a serious dilemma when Jesus is fit again.
The academy graduate very much deserves to be in the side, and could help his boyhood club win a historic Premier League title.
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