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Arteta makes bold Nketiah prediction as Arsenal set to resume Premier League title hunt

17:36 GMT+4 18/12/2022
Nketiah Jesus Arsenal 2022-23
Mikel Arteta has expressed confidence that forward Eddie Nketiah will have no problem replacing Gabriel Jesus when top flight action resumes.
  • Nketiah has struggled for goals so far this season
  • Arsenal will be without Jesus when league returns
  • Arteta confident Nketiah will fill Jesus gap

WHAT HAPPENED? The 23-year-old Ghanaian prospect has a good opportunity to claim his stake at Arsenal when the Premier League returns after having been paused for the World Cup.

Nketiah will have to step up and replace Jesus, who picked up an injury while representing Brazil at the global competition and has already undergone surgery. However, in his first start as a replacement for Jesus, Nketiah fired blanks as Arsenal lost 2-0 against Juventus in a friendly.

Speaking after the defeat at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Arteta revealed why he believes Nketiah can still take up the role with both hands.

WHAT DID HE SAY? "Eddie [Nketiah] is always ready. He knows that it opens an opportunity for him," Arteta told Arsenal website, adding: "He needs to grab it but the way he trains every day and the mentality he has, he gives us no reason not to think he’s going to be super ready to perform."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: With Jesus previously playing alongside Gabriel Martinelli, Nketiah has struggled to find form at Arsenal, managing 12 appearances in the Premier League, and is yet to find the back of the net.

Meanwhile, before the World Cup break, the 25-year-old Jesus had managed five league goals for the Gunners following his £45m arrival from Manchester City in the summer.

WHAT NEXT FOR NKETIAH? He will have to step up and keep Arsenal's title hopes alive when they return to league action against West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium on December 26.

The Gunners are leading the 20-team table with 37 points from 14 matches.