Darren Bent explains why he’d pick Eddie Nketiah over Gabriel Jesus in Arsenal XI for north London derby against Tottenham, even if both players were fit

    Eddie Nketiah would still remain as Arsenal’s starting striker over a fully fit Gabriel Jesus, believes Darren Bent.

    The Gunners have been without their summer arrival from Manchester City since he sustained a knee injury with Brazil at the World Cup.

    Nketiah netted twice against Oxford United in the FA Cup on Monday

    Getty

    Nketiah netted twice against Oxford United in the FA Cup on Monday

    Questions were raised over whether or not Nketiah would effectively fill the role that Jesus occupied for Mikel Arteta’s side.

    However, his recent form has suggested that he been able to do just that, with Arsenal still top of the Premier League and still in the FA Cup.

    Former Premier striker and Arsenal fan, Darren Bent, would keep the 23-year-old in the Gunners’ starting XI, even if Jesus was fit.

    When asked by Andy Goldstein who he would select if both were able to play against Tottenham on Sunday, Bent replied: “Oh Eddie has to start, 100 per cent.”

    Bent added: “It depends, because if Eddie keeps scoring goals and Arsenal maintain where they are, then Jesus is going to have to get himself back into the team.”

    Beforehand, the former Aston Villa forward praised Nketiah for his recent form for the north London side.

    Jesus last played for Arsenal in November

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    Jesus last played for Arsenal in November

    “Looking at what Eddie has done, we saw glimpses last season. If you can remember the back end of last season, the last seven games, he scored five goals. He had the two against Chelsea where he was brilliant, two against Leeds and one against Everton.

    “The performance against Chelsea was the one I went ‘oh, wow, ok maybe he is ready’. Again, he’s been given opportunities this season, he’s scored a fair few goals on this little run that he’s on now, I think he’s got four in his last five.

    “I think the rush maybe isn’t as imminent as it was. I think when Gabriel Jesus got injured, people were like ‘panic stations, what are we going to do? Arsenal are going to fall off’.

    “He’s just gone ‘you know what, hold on a second’, and fair play to Arteta as well by the way because he’s gone ‘you know what, you’re my number nine’.”

    Nketiah so far has filled the void left in the Arsenal attack following Jesus’ injury

    Getty

    Nketiah so far has filled the void left in the Arsenal attack following Jesus’ injury

    Arsenal travel to Spurs on Sunday as they look to build on their five-point lead ahead of City at the top of the table.

    Nketiah netted in their 3-0 FA Cup win against Oxford on Monday, and will be keen to get onto the scoresheet once again when they face their bitter rivals.

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