Nketiah gives response to Jesus injury blow and opens up on Wenger talks

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Nketiah gives response to Jesus injury blow and opens up on Wenger talks
Nketiah gives response to Jesus injury blow and opens up on Wenger talks

Eddie Nketiah has sent his well-wishes to stricken Arsenal colleague Gabriel Jesus but has fired a warning that he is not just acting as his deputy.

The Brazilian forward is set to miss the first few weeks of the season having undergone surgery for a knee issue. The problem follows another knee problem that saw the former Manchester City man miss a large chunk of last season.

Arteta confirmed that Jesus was set to miss this weekend’s Community Shield showdown with Man City, whilst he also looks sure to be out of the Gunners’ Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest. That is not the only problem that Arteta is attempting to navigate, with Folarin Balogun also struggling with a foot injury.

In Jesus’ absence, Nketiah was named in the starting lineup for Arsenal ’s Emirates Cup showdown with French side Monaco. He responded perfectly by scoring the equaliser as he tapped home from a corner.

Whilst the academy graduate has admitted that Jesus’ injury is a blow, he underlined the fact that he was not simply there to be a back-up to the Brazilian. Speaking after the draw with Monaco, he said: “We want him [Jesus] back as soon as possible.

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“We need him, he is a big player for us. So whatever the manager does, we are all here to contribute and push to be out there to help the team.”

Nketiah gives response to Jesus injury blow and opens up on Wenger talksEddie Nketiah celebrates his goal against Arsenal (Getty Images)

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Nketiah added: “Yeah [answered doubts last season] but I don't think I'm here to fill in for anyone. I'm here to play and contribute to the team obviously, I believe in my abilities and I know I can contribute.

“I just really enjoyed it [last season] and was able to improve myself. I played some really big games and I was able to help and contribute.

“I pride myself on always being ready and whatever role the manager needs me to fill, I will always make sure I do my best so I can help the team — that's what it's all about. The manager has got a tough decision and whenever he calls me, he knows I can deliver and I can help the team.”

Amid Nketiah’s strike against Monaco, the striker also spoke to Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman attended the showdown between his two former clubs, whilst his statue was also unveiled outside of the Emirates.

“I made my debut under him,” said Nketiah of their reunion. "So it was so nice to really speak to him and he is obviously really proud of how far I've come from since then.

"It's amazing and it's always good to pick his brain, he is a genius and we're really happy that he's been able to come, been able to catch up with him."

Daniel Orme

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