Eddie Nketiah believes he can form a partnership with new Arsenal signing Gabriel Jesus rather than compete with the Brazilian.
Nketiah eventually signed a new contract at the Emirates this summer after concerns over a lack of minutes pushed him towards the exit door, but the competition that was once present with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette now appears to be there in the form of Jesus.
The £45m man is expected to lead the line for Arsenal but spent plenty of time out wide for Manchester City last season and has even taken up that role during the Gunners’ pre-season, leaving Nketiah confident that the pair can work together on the pitch.
“I think we can play together and I think we’ve shown that,” Nketiah told reporters.
“Obviously, he’s a great player and it’s nice to play with him. Naturally with the kind of strikers we are, we’ve been able to combine quickly. I’m enjoying playing with him and hopefully we can continue to link up.”
He added: “Obviously I like to play in the middle but I can play on the left as well and enjoy that. I’m just happy to be on the pitch in areas where I know I can be a threat and be dangerous. And when Gabby came on in the second half it was good to link up with him.
“He’s shown at the club he was at before what a good player he is. He adds that energy up front, the same as myself, with that pressing. That’s the style the manager wants to play. So whoever is playing up there has to make sure we add that energy. Not just us, the whole team. It’s been good so far but it’s only pre-season and we’re going to get better. We have a lot of time to improve.”
Nketiah also opened up on his negotiations over his new contract, admitting he considered offers from elsewhere before deciding that Arsenal was still the best place to be.
“When you’re at that stage of your contract you consider all your options and just weigh it all up,” he said.
“I wanted to wait until the end of the season and of course, I had a lot of offers. I sat down with my team and with the manager and my family and we felt like Arsenal was the best place. I’m really happy with my decision and I’m looking forward to the future.
“When you get down to that stage of your contract you’re obviously going to have options and I sat down with my agent and family to go through them all. But Arsenal is a great club for me. I support the club and it’s a great project to be part of. I hope I can contribute to that in the future.”