Eddie Nketiah does not want backup striker role at Arsenal

Eddie Nketiah does not want backup striker role at Arsenal

Eddie Nketiah says he will never accept being back-up as the Arsenal striker pushes to be the best.

The 24-year-old progressed through the Gunners' youth set-up and last summer ended speculation about his future by signing a long-term deal.

Nketiah scored nine goals in 39 appearances in all competitions last season, but many of them came as a substitute.

Asked if he accepts that he will not play every week, he said: "No, I don't think I have accepted that and I will never accept that.

"That's not my mentality. That's not why I signed here to sit and be second best. I want to be the best. I want to play and that's the mentality I have.

"I realise I might not play every game and that's the coach's decision but it's never going to be my mentality to accept not playing.

"I am going to always push in training to get opportunities to show why I think I should be playing and to give the manager a headache. Most players should have that mentality.

"We had a great season together last season and I'm looking forward to the future. I signed a five-year contract so I know I'm here for a long-term project, and I want to play my part in that project and improve as a player.

"There's no better environment than the one I am in for the things I want to achieve in football."

This is an exciting time for Arsenal, who have signed Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice since finishing as Premier League runners-up to Manchester City.

The latter's £105million arrival has been particularly eye-catching and sees him link back up with Nketiah, who was released by Chelsea on the same day as Rice at under-14s level.

"That's your dream, to get scouted, you get accepted, grow part of that academy, you want to go all the way," he said.

"But sometimes this is life. I am a very religious person, I believe in God. I know everything happens for a reason.

"It's just about knowing this is the path that was chosen for you and unfortunately it wasn't down this path, but there's also other routes to the top.

"There's players that stayed there and didn't reach the levels that myself or Declan have now. This is just life, it isn't always going to go your way.

"Having that experience really shaped me as a person and how I am able to deal with disappointments and prove again and again. It's the mentality I have, it's how to try to look at life."