Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Nketiah will do it again, Balogun will do it next season

 By 1970's Gooner

I had no reservations backing Nketiah to do the business against west Ham in my last post. He had a very good all round game, receiving and protecting the ball under pressure and laying it off to a team mate, contributing to the built up and of course scoring that wonderful goal to put the game out of West Ham's reach. 

I think that was a breakthrough moment for him which will serve as the catalyst to propel him to higher levels. With the newfound confidence gained he is likely to score against Brighton next Saturday. 

He will of course have a run of games before Jesus returns and my feeling is that Arteta will have a difficult time deciding who to start.

The emergence of Balogun must not go unnoticed. He has scored a brace tonight for Reims against Rennes bringing his total in France to ten just behind Mbappe (12) and Neymar (11). I watched the game and Balogun has developed attributes which are important: Strength, confidence on the ball and of course goal scoring at a higher level than he was used to. 

I say 'must not go unnoticed' in the sense that Balogun can follow in Nketiah's footsteps and provide the competition for that number 9 spot in the not too distant future. 

What we do need now is more competition for the wide places in the team. Martinelli and Saka is all we have and the addition of someone like Mudryk will provide a high quality alternative.

Arteta will also be provided with more flexibility in the short term in case Nketiah becomes unavailable, by moving Martinelli in the centre forward position and playing Mudryk wide. 

Mikel is building a strong squad with depth and high quality players which will keep Arsenal not only in the top 4 but continue to be a major contender for the title for years to come.

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