Alan Shearer has questioned whether Eddie Nketiah will ever reach the ‘elite’ level after watching the Arsenal striker struggle during Sunday’s win at Everton.
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Despite the return to full fitness of Gabriel Jesus, Mikel Arteta opted to retain faith in the 24-year-old who recently received his first call-up to the England senior squad.
The Gunners enjoyed the overwhelming majority of possession at Goodison Park, but struggled to find a cutting edge with Nketiah largely swamped by Everton’s commanding central defenders.
Nketiah was guilty, meanwhile, of failing to get back into an onside position for Gabriel Martinelli’s disallowed 20th minute goal which may well have led to a far more straightforward afternoon.
As it was, Arsenal were forced to wait until 20 minutes from time to break the deadlock with Leandro Trossard providing the decisive moment shortly after Nketiah had been replaced by Jesus.
Assessing the Hale End Academy graduate’s display, Shearer told Premier League Productions: ‘I think we’ll continue to have the discussion to say is he elite?
‘Is he the top drawer striker that perhaps Arsenal need to go to that next level.
‘We’ll keep asking those questions because it’s important when he gets the opportunity, like he has done again today and the manager says I’m having belief in you and I’m putting you in again then he has to take those opportunities.
‘Today I just thought there were two or three occasions, one being the disallowed goal, there was a couple in that second half where I’m thinking come on, get on the end of it get in that six-yard box and get that tap in that all great strikers do and it was just a split second where he was slow.
‘Until he keeps doing or does that questions are still going to be asked.’
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