Mikel Arteta faces easy team selection decision vs Man Utd after Gabriel Jesus injury return


Eddie Nketiah is a player who has continued to fight for his position at Arsenal, never giving up and accepting something of a bit-part role whilst biding his time for an opportunity. With Gabriel Jesus suffering a minor knee issue at the beginning of the season, it would be fair to say the number 14 has taken this latest chance by the scruff of its neck.

Scoring twice and winning a penalty in the opening three games has highlighted perhaps that supporters should expect to see a different Nketiah this season. Not to mention that he managed something in his first substitute appearance against Fulham he failed in all 18 in 2022/23 - scoring.

He arrived with the game in the visitors' favour and scored the second goal to hand his side the lead. Nketiah remains in question with plenty more needed to shift the conversation around him.

football.londonspoke to him after the game against Monaco in the Emirates Cup, another clash in which he scored. Nketiah was given the armband by manager Mikel Arteta in yet another show of support for someone he has put real faith in.

“I like to take that pressure on and help the team and everyone leads in different ways and I kind of lead by example,” he said. "So it's a good experience for me and I'm really grateful to have had that opportunity.”

Jesus returned to the field in the game with Fulham but was unable to make a difference and get the Gunners that all-important third goal. However, with the Brazilian back Arteta has a decision to make with the visit of Manchester United this weekend.

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Yet it should be a simple one after how the season has begun. Nketiah owns this position for the immediate future with the aforementioned goals and contributions in the opening three games.

He has, in such a short time, done everything he can to begin to shift the conversation around how he has filled in for Jesus and now to a discussion of Jesus earning back the starting spot. Nketiah famously scored twice against Man United in last season’s battle at the Emirates Stadium.

He scored late on to secure the 3-2 win and effectively end Erik ten Hag’s hopes of catching Arsenal in the title race. However soon after he was replaced by Leandro Trossard and eventually Jesus again returned to reclaim the striker role.

Nketiah has positioned himself perfectly for another shot at the starting role, meaning Sunday could quite possibly be the biggest of his Arsenal career so far with the opportunity to solidify that spot, at least for the short term, and stave off the return of Jesus.

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