A few months ago it looked like Nketiah would leave the Emirates, with the 22-year-old being nothing more than a minor part-player under Mikel Arteta.
But after scoring four goals in four Premier League starts in April and May, a form that has put Arsenal on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League, the forward’s future is now much more uncertain as his strong performances increase Demands for his contract to be renewed.
Petit, who won the league and FA Cup double with the Gunners in 1998, is one of those urging him to stay at his youth club.
‘He has to stay!’ The Frenchman told Metro Sport about Genting Casino ahead of Thursday’s north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham.
“He plays with anger. He’s asked for more playing time and he’s taken charge of the pitch and scored important goals.
‘Nketiah is a young talented player with a great motivation to become a star, which means if he can follow the steps of [Gabriel] martinelli, [Emile] Smith Rowe and [Bukayo] Saka, that would be a very good thing for him and for Arsenal, but I definitely want him to stay at Arsenal.
Nketiah certainly fits the mold of what Arteta is building at Arsenal, a young dynamic team with an emphasis on fast attacking, with many players surviving breakthrough seasons this season.
Despite the team having strong players in all positions, the forward situation is precarious as the sudden departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January leaves Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette as the only natural No 9s in the squad.
Both players are out of contract at the end of the season but Petit believes Arsenal need to sign a new striker in the summer to be able to compete with the top teams in Europe, whoever stays or leaves.
“It’s likely that Lacazette will leave the club at the end of the season,” added the World and European champions.
“But even with Lacazette and Nketiah in the team Arsenal need a top striker who can score at least 20-25 goals during the season to compete in the Premier League.
“I want Arsenal to buy another striker. What Arsenal desperately needs up front, including on the wings, are fast players.
“Make no mistake, modern football is all about speed. Everything is speed, the pressing, the playing, everything.
“You have to pick up the pace. Martinelli is a very fast player, Saka also on the right, but up front Lacazette is not a fast player and Nketiah can be fast but they definitely need a different player profile.’
Petit has also highlighted Tammy Abraham as his ideal signing after the former Chelsea forward’s brilliant debut campaign for Roma, where he has scored 24 goals in 49 games.
The 24-year-old was close to signing for the Gunners last summer and is reportedly still on Arsenal’s radar, although agreeing a fee for the England international could prove difficult.
Petit added: “So what kind of player should they sign? I like Tammy Abraham very much.
“What he’s doing with Roma in Italy and if they can bring him back to England, he’ll come back to London with a sense of revenge and for me it’s very important to have that extra motivation.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/12/emmanuel-petit-arsenal-must-keep-eddie-nketiah-and-buy-tammy-abraham-16625200/ Emmanuel Petit: Arsenal must keep Eddie Nketiah AND buy Tammy Abraham