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It was in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup last season that Eddie Nketiah announced himself with two goals against Norwich City.
As we approach that stage of the competition again, the striker has yet to play a single minute for the Arsenal first-team this season.
Nketiah made the bench against Vorskla Poltava and Brentford but failed to do so against Qarabag and there have been occasions when the hugely talented youngster hasn’t even been involved with first-team training.
There is little doubt about the quality that Nketiah possesses, with his consistent performances at U23 level emphasising his clinical nature – he has scored four goals in as many games this campaign and also netted against Coventry City in the Checkatrade Trophy.
It seems clear now that Nketiah is above playing for the U23s and needs to challenge himself further, but he faces a major battle to even get onto the bench for first-team fixtures given Unai Emery’s policy of naming strong squads for cup games.
With players of the calibre of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him, as well as the hard-working Danny Welbeck, Nketiah has been left frustrated so far.
The upcoming game against Blackpool could represent a chance for Nketiah to showcase his credentials but other than in a Europa League dead rubber (if such a scenario arises) it is difficult to envisage him receiving much more playing time.
A loan spell, then, could be a possibility for Nketiah in January but of course much thought would have to be put into deciding his potential destination.
A move abroad, perhaps to the Bundesliga, may well be hugely beneficial because at present it is difficult to envisage Nketiah getting much of a look in in the near future unless something drastically changes.