‘Frustrated’ Eddie Nketiah speaks out after being dumped by Mikel Arteta despite ‘hard work and commitment’ at Arsenal … but youngster hopes to prove his boss a point by starring for England in Under-21 euros
- Eddie Nketiah has admitted his concerns about his playing time at Arsenal
- The striker has not been in the selection of the Premier League since January
- His last appearance came in the Gunners’ FA Cup defeat against Southampton
- The youngster hopes to prove a point when he leads the England U21 team
Eddie Nketiah has admitted to being concerned and ‘frustrated’ by his lack of playing time under Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.
The striker has not started a Premier League game since December and has not even made it to the bench in the last eight games. He has also been left out of the squad for the knockout matches of the Europa League.
Nketiah will lead the England U21 for their European Championship campaign, which starts on Thursday with the first group match against Switzerland, and says he hopes to channel his frustration in a positive way.
Eddie Nketiah (left) has admitted frustration with his lack of playing time under Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (right)
“It’s been a tough month for myself,” he said. ‘I have worked hard and remained committed and that has added to the frustration.
‘It’s part of football, but one you don’t want to be involved in.
‘I believe in my ability, so I think I am clearly capable of playing and helping the team.
“It’s frustrating not to play, but you have to channel that frustration properly, use your time wisely to work hard, and prepare for when that opportunity presents itself.”
The youngster’s last appearance came in Arsenal’s FA Cup defeat to Southampton in January
The forward, who has scored five goals in all competitions, has only started three Premier League games, but started every group match in the Europa League when Arsenal finished best.
However, the 21-year-old has not made it to the bench for one of the knockout matches against Benfica and Olympiacos. His last league appearance came in the Gunners’ 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Southampton in January.
Nketiah surpassed Alan Shearer to become England’s record scorer at U21 level in October and he will be a protagonist in the youngster’s Euro campaign.
Aidy Boothroyd’s side will play their three group matches before the end of March and will try to qualify for the knockout stages taking place in Slovenia this summer.
Nketiah hopes to prove a point when he leads the England U21 team for their Euro games
Nketiah praised Boothroyd for the support he has provided, saying he will continue to work hard to make his way back to the Gunners squad.
‘I have a big tournament ahead of me and I am grateful for the opportunity to achieve something special. It is a great honor to even represent your country in a major tournament, let alone captain.
Aidy checked in with me. I am very grateful for that support. It shows what a great person he is, not just as a coach, but as a person.
‘When I’m not in the selection, I work hard and train as I always would. You get a little more time to work on details. I have tried to use my time wisely. ‘