Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes Eddie Nketiah should force a loan move away from the Emirates in January in order to see more action.
The 21-year-old has made just one Premier League start this season among 145 minutes of game time. That is a disappointing return for the youngster, who made 13 top-flight appearances and seven starts last term.
He has bagged just one goal – in the Gunners’ 3-0 Europa League triumph over Dundalk. However, a lack of opportunities has not curtailed his international ambitions.
The Londoner scored twice as the England Under-21s beat Albania 5-0- on November 17. He has notched 16 times for the Under-21s from just 14 outings but cannot nail down a Gunners spot.
Nketiah spent time on loan with Leeds United in 2019-2020, scoring three times from 17 appearances. That ended in January this year although he played enough games to earn a Championship winner’s medal.
Progression has not been as hoped this season and Campbell feels he needs more time on the pitch to develop.
“Nketiah has a knack for goals but I think he needs to go out on loan for another season, playing back-to-back games to get that confidence in his own body,” he told Football Insider.
“Coming off the bench and playing sparingly is okay but there is nothing better than getting a run of starts to understand that you can do it at the top level.
“You have got to go through the tough parts. You need to get kicked, feel the pain and the soreness. That is what he needs to do.”
Legend urges starlet to fight
Ian Wright’s views on Nketiah differ from those of Campbell, with the legend urging him to force his way in. Alexandre Lacazette is ahead of him in Mikel Arteta’s pecking order despite failing to shine in 2020-21.
The France forward has just three goals and has received plenty of stick for his displays. But he is still being selected and Wright wants Nketiah to use the situation to his benefit.
“We talked about Laca and people are talking about Laca’s got to be taken out. Maybe just for himself, just to have a rest,” he told Wrighty’s House Podcast.
“Eddie now should be looking at what Laca does, why Laca’s in the team, why Laca’s being picked over him even though he’s not scoring. And he’s got to start learning about the progression of himself.”
READ MORE: Gunners still keen on Blades ace