Double-goal champion Eddie Nkeitia spoke of a feeling of connection with Arsenal, amid talk of his exit from the Emirates.
Nkeia’s double against Leeds United has given Arsenal hopes of securing a place in the Champions League next season after north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur were held to a draw by Liverpool.
Arsenal haven’t moved from fourth but are now four points away from Tottenham – who they next face in the Premier League – with just three games left.
The young striker, who had not scored a goal in the Premier League until four games four games ago against Chelsea where he scored two goals, now has four goals in four after his second brace against Leeds, who are fighting for his life.
With both goals, Nketiah became the second Arsenal player to score twice in the first ten minutes of the match, matching the record set 20 years ago by retired Nigerian striker Kanu Nwankwo.
Nkitea is now on a rich trajectory in terms of form just as he is on the cusp of leaving the club after a five-year association with them. The 22-year-old striker joined Arsenal in 2015 after being laid off from Chelsea’s academy after seven years of development.
Within two years at Arsenal’s academy, he got his first chance at senior football, but it wasn’t until the 2020/21 season that he became a regular player. However, he has been used in the Under-23 squad and more cups than the Premier League and has announced his intention to go somewhere where he can play football on a regular basis.
Arsenal will be without a striker when he departs as club captain Alexandre Lacazette is also set to follow Nketia out the door. However, the striker’s comments after the Leeds win suggest they have a chance to convince him to stay in the Emirates.
He said at the final whistle: “It’s [Emirates Stadium] Dotty said: “Great atmosphere throughout the whole season, it’s been excellent” Sky Sports. “You really feel the connection between the players and the fans.
“It’s amazing to be involved. Any player just wants to play and get chances. I’ve worked really hard all season to make sure I’m ready when I have the chance.
“[It is] Credit to my teammates for helping me play and do a good job. I’m just happy in the team and helping me.”
Arsenal are known to be interested in keeping Nketia in the Emirates and have offered him and his entourage a new contract. It remains to be seen if Nkita will decide to stay, with his new role in Arsenal’s attacking squad.