Mikel Arteta insists Eddie Nketiah has the quality to be Arsenal's starting striker

After signing a new contract in the summer Nketiah has yet to start a single Premier League game so far this season
After signing a new contract in the summer Nketiah has yet to start a single Premier League game so far this season / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Eddie Nketiah bagged his second goal in as many starts in the Europa League on Thursday night, a smart, reactive finish after Kieran Tierney had thundered a shot against the post.

The Gunners ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Norwegian champions Bodo/Glimt at the Emirates Stadium, even if the Eliteserien side organised by Kjetil Knutsen played brightly and had their moments.

After the game, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the performance of 23-year-old Nketiah, explaining to the assembled media: "Eddie’s work rate, his attitude and his application is phenomenal."

Nketiah did appear hungry to impress and led the line superbly - in one memorable instance beating opposition fullback Alfons Sampsted to a ball he had no right to win before sending the Icelander sprawling to the turf with nothing more than a shrug.

For a player known for his clinical instincts in front of goal, it appears his all-round game has come on leaps and bounds under the Spaniard. “I’m really happy to have him in the team," Arteta added. "He has the quality to play as a starter and as a finisher.”

Despite his manager's effusive interview, Nketiah has so far been restricted to 97 minutes of Premier League action, coming on as a substitute in all eight games Arsenal have played.

He signed a new five-contract in the summer with the promise of more playing time after scoring five goals in eight starts and 13 substitute appearances last season.

Of course, it is particularly difficult to break into a team with seven wins on the board and sitting pretty at the top of the table. Even more so given the form of Gabriel Jesus, signed in the summer from Manchester City for £45m, who has thrived spearheading Arteta's attack.

“It’s nice to get two wins, two goals,” Nketiah told BT Sport. “I’m going to keep pushing and hopefully keep scoring and helping the team."

“Everyone is going to play their role so we all have to keep fighting and pushing to be ready so we can keep winning."

Arteta had made eight changes to his starting lineup for the game with Sunday's home fixture against Liverpool lurking on the horizon and while teams often look disjointed after such heavy rotation, Arsenal once again performed with verve and cohesion to make it a ninth win in 10 games.

Centre-back Rob Holding and the outstanding creative midfielder Fabio Vieira got the other goals.