Ian Wright has slammed Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah for failing to step up following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure and feels the youngster has wasted a golden opportunity.
Nketiah, who is out of contract this summer and expected to leave on a free transfer, has not scored a Premier League goal all season – though all 13 of his appearances for the Gunners have come off the bench.
Now Wright has suggested Nketiah already has one foot out the door and has heavily criticised the 22-year-old for not seizing the opportunity to become Arsenal’s main man up top and secure a new deal in the process.
In an interview with the Arseblog podcast, he said: “For the last [however] many games we’ve got left, I would probably sit Eddie Nketiah down and say, ‘Listen, I don’t know what the f*** is going on in your head, but we’ve got rid of Aubameyang, you’re an up-and-coming striker.
“‘You were here in the spell when he wasn’t scoring, you’re here now when Alexandre Lacazette isn’t scoring, you’re a centre-forward and when you’re coming on I’m not seeing it’.
“He needs that talk to say there is an opening as a number nine at Arsenal for someone who can do this job, and he’s young enough to do that job and get in the box.
“And I’m thinking to myself, when I was coming through, I remember at Crystal Palace I had Trevor Aylott, Andy Gray, and all I was thinking was: ‘If I could just have one f***ing chance to have a run in this team’.
“And it does seem to me, when you look at Eddie as a striker who we thought of as the box striker that we need.
“I was thinking we had a replacement for Aubameyang and Lacazette – but what has happened to Eddie in that respect? Your job as a number nine is to take over from these guys!
“So that’s one of the most frustrating things for me, to see that there’s a striker there, I don’t know if he’s going to leave or not, it doesn’t seem like there’s any contract talks going on, maybe he’s made his mind up.”
Nketiah is set to leave the club on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.