Nketiah’s brace against Leeds United gave Arsenal hopes to secure a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League after North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur drew away to Liverpool.
The Gunners have not moved from fourth place but are now four points away from Spurs – who they face next in the Premier League – with only three games to go.
The young striker, who had not scored a Premier League goal until four games ago against Chelsea where he scored a brace, now has four goals in four after his second brace against a Leeds side fighting for their lives.
With both goals, Nketiah became the second Arsenal player to score twice in the opening ten minutes of a game, matching a record set 20 years ago by retired Nigerian striker Kanu Nwankwo
Nketiah has now hit a rich vein of form just as he is about to leave the club after a five-year association with them. The 22-year-old striker joined Arsenal in 2015 following his release from Chelsea’s academy after seven years in development.
In two years at the Arsenal academy, he was given his first shot at senior football but it was not until the 2020/21 season that he became a regular. However, he has been used more in the Under 23 and the Cup squad more than in the Premier League and has declared his intention to go somewhere where he can play regular league football.
Arsenal will be without a striker when he leaves as club captain Alexandre Lacazette is also set to follow Nketiah out the door. However, the striker’s comments after the Leeds win suggest that they have a chance of convincing him to remain at the Emirates.
He said at the final whistle: “It’s [Emirates Stadium] a great atmosphere throughout the whole season, it’s been excellent,” Nketiah told Sky Sports. “You really feel the connection between the players and the fans.
“It’s amazing to be involved. Any player just wants to be playing and get the opportunities. I’ve worked hard throughout the season to make sure that I was ready when I got my chance.
“[It is] credit to my team-mates for helping me play and do well. I’m just happy in the team and helping.”
Arsenal are understood to be interested in keeping Nketiah at the Emirates and have tabled a new contract before him and his entourage. It remains to be seen if Nketiah will decide to stay, with his new found role in the Gunners’ attack.