Mikel Arteta has identified Ghanaian-born English striker Eddie Nketiah as the ‘right player’ to move Arsenal to the next level.
The 21-year-old has impressed since returning from his loan at Leeds United midway through the season – starting ahead of Alexandre Lacazette – offering an indication of how highly Arteta rates him.
And ahead trip to Manchester City, the Gunners boss said in a press conference on Monday: “We treat Eddie as an important part of our squad. We had to make an important decision not to let him go on loan again after the spell he had at Leeds.
“I watched him train and I was very convinced he was the right player for us to move us to the next level, that he can contribute in a big way to the way we want to play.
“He has been fantastic so far.”
Nketiah was beginning to make his mark for Arsenal after returning to the club from Leeds, scoring three goals in seven games, before his progress was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
He will be hoping to pick up from where he left off when the action resumes on Wednesday, as Arteta’s men prepare to come up against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal slipped to ninth in the top flight when play was stopped in March, eight points behind Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish, but they do have a game in hand on their Champions League rivals.