Eddie Nketiah has swiftly established himself as a key member of this Arsenal club, despite his inability to even make Premier League squads.
With Flo Balogun on loan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang obviously in exile, and Gabriel Martinelli showing his best form on the left, the England under-21 international appears destined to leave the Emirates sooner rather than later. Now it’s up to Nketiah to keep the pressure on Alexandre Lacazette.
If that was his job in the team, it’s reasonable to say he didn’t fulfill it on Sunday.
The 22-year-old was found wanting in the deeper link-up play that Lacazette has excelled at in recent weeks, and his pushing was non-existent for the majority of the game.
Perhaps it was down to tactics, but the England under-21 striker appeared more at ease in his back-up role than someone who truly believed he could make an impact in the first team.
The most important aspect of Nketiah’s game, though, was his clinical edge.
Hale Ender is supposed to compensate for his deficiencies in other areas with his deadliness in the box, but he was unable to capitalize on both of Arsenal’s key chances in the encounter.
After Bukayo Saka’s well-placed cross, there was the attempted blast over the bar from a self-fashioned chance in the box, which lent credence to those who say he is incapable of making it as an elite level player at the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta did not reject rumours of an expected arrival of Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic in his pre-match press conference, and Nketiah’s performance will have done nothing to imply that the Serbian’s signature will not be required.
As the Gunners prepare to enter the second half of their top-four push, it appears like Lacazette and Nketiah will be their primary strikers.
If we’re looking at whether that’ll be enough to get them into the Champions League, which is almost certainly on offer this season, the answer is probably not based on this game.