Opinion: Eddie Nketiah should displace Lacazette as starting forward
Eddie Nketiah/Stuart MacFarlane via Getty Images

A starting striker from our very own Hale End Academy? You'd have to be quite old to remember such a thing.

However, the new line of number nines coming off the conveyor belt in north London gives hope that Arsenal could have their own Harry Kane in the not so distant future.

Eddie Nketiah is one of the names on the tips of every fans' tongue with the Englishman having notched up his first goal this season in last week's 2-1 win over West Ham United.

Lack of academy products

Taking a look at the emergence of the England under-21s striker, he could be the first number nine to enjoy a successful career at the club since Kevin Campbell way back in the mid-1980s.

Campbell had an incredible spell with the Reds, appearing in more than 160 games whilst winning one league title and an FA Cup

Nketiah has already won his first piece of silverware in the famous red and white, lifting the FA Cup following the 2-1 win over Chelsea last month.

Since Campbell, many players have failed to make the grade in N5 from the likes of Paul Dickov and Andy Cole to Chuba Akpom and Benik Afobe, more recently.

Nketiah hasn't solely played for the side having joined at 14-years-old, following his release from the Blues.

But, having grown up a fan of the club and made his way through the upper echelons of the youth system, supporters could get away with calling him an academy product.

Superior striker

With the tie against the Foxes on the horizon, it's just another chance for the youngster to show off his superiority compared to rival Alexandre Lacazette, who hasn't enjoyed the best of times in the last 18 months.

Last season proved to be an incredibly underwhelming campaign for the Frenchman as he scored just 10 goals in the Premier League, leaving most of the heavy lifting to strike partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

On the other hand, there is noticeable improvement to the 21-year-old's game since his return from Leeds United

His ability to press and put opposition defenders under pressure is arguably greater than Lacazette's and has paid dividends over the last few months with goals against Southampton and Austria under-21s.

He can also hold the ball up just as well as the Frenchman, bringing his teammates into play, keeping attacks as fluid as possible.

Four goals in just nine starts last campaign speaks for itself when analysing whether he is good enough to carry the goalscoring burden on his young shoulders.

Overall, it would be a shame to see Lacazette lose his starting place following his goalscoring form at the start of this season. However, if the Gunners are serious about blooding new youngsters, Nketiah needs more consistent starts ahead of the 29-year-old.

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