Eddie Nketiah needs to “get angry” if he’s to have any hope of dislodging Alexandre Lacazette as Arsenal’s second-choice striker.
The England Under-21 international is currently Arsenal’s third-choice centre-forward, having to make do with Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being ahead of him in the pecking order.
Despite Laczette being in less than impressive form over the last few months, Nketiah finds himself behind the Frenchman in the Arsenal striker hierarchy.
And Wright believes now is the time for the 20-year-old – who bagged a brace in England Under-21s’ 5-0 rout of Albania on Tuesday night – to pile the pressure on his team-mate.
“Reiss Nelson… what’s gonna happen with Reiss Nelson? You have to be worried about Reiss and, to a certain extent, Eddie as well,” Wright said on Ringer FC’s ‘Wrighty’s House’ podcast.
“We talked about Laca and people are talking about Laca’s got to be taken out. Maybe for just for himself, just to have a rest.
“Eddie now should be looking at what Laca does, why Laca’s in the team, why Laca’s being picked over him even though he’s not scoring. And he’s got to start learning about the progression of himself.
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“Because by now, with the goals that we know he’s capable of scoring because he can get in the box and he can finish, he should be adding those other things to his game to be putting a bit more pressure on Laca, with all due respect to Laca.
“He should have forced himself by now, especially with Laca.
“If he had gone on loan at the start of the season and Laca’s in the form he’s in, people would probably be saying, ‘What did you send Eddie out on loan for? He should be there!’
“The fact is, if I had to speak to Eddie, I’d be saying, ‘Listen, I don’t know if you’ve recognised it but your opportunity is right now.
“‘As a No.9 if you want to play that role, it’s now’.
“Because you’ve got a No.9 at the moment who has low confidence, he brings so much to the team, but at the same time, if the manager has somebody that is a goal threat and doing that pretty well, he’d probably play you. ‘He needs to get angry.”
Nketiah and his Arsenal team-mates will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, travelling to Elland Road to take on Leeds.