Mikel Arteta calls for patience over Eddie Nketiah’s injury

Mikel Arteta has called for patience over Eddie Nketiah’s injury, with the Arsenal boss expecting the forward to be sidelined for a few more weeks. 

Nketiah endured a frustrating start to the 2022/23 season before Gabriel Jesus’ injury setback forced the Englishman into a prominent role within Arteta’s set-up. He emerged as the Gunners’ number nine after the World Cup and filled in admirably while Jesus recovered.

The 23-year-old scored four goals during his run in the side before he picked up a knock which saw Leandro Trossard thrust into a fluid central role. After making substitute appearances in the wins over Leicester and Everton, Nketiah has missed Arsenal’s last three games through injury and Arteta doesn’t expect to have the Hale End graduate back for a while yet.

Mikel Arteta calls for patience over Eddie Nketiah’s injury

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League round of 16 second leg against Sporting CP, Arteta called for patience over Nketiah’s ankle injury.

“It was a nasty injury and he has a big challenge ahead of him,” the Spaniard said in his press conference (via the BBC).

“He’s getting better,” Arteta added. “He’s still in the [protective] boot. He’s still a few weeks away and we need to be patient.

“Thank God, it could have been worse. So he’s not in a bad place.”

Fortunately for the Premier League leaders, Jesus returned to action after three months out at the weekend as the Gunners waltzed to a 3-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Trossard’s stellar form, meanwhile, will allow Arteta to ease Jesus back into the fold ahead of the final stretch of the season.

The Brazilian will likely earn minutes off the bench against Sporting and Crystal Palace before the international break with Arteta hoping that he’ll be ready to start when Leeds come to town on 1 April.