Mikel Arteta praised Eddie Nketiah for his fight and desire, after the striker’s cameo performance in the weekend win over Sheffield United.

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Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah (C) celebrates with teammates on June 25, 2020. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP)

Eddie Nketiah is becoming a regular starter under Mikel Arteta, making the lineup for two of the first three Premier League games since the restart. He dropped to the bench for the FA Cup tie against Sheffield United, coming on for the final 23 minutes.

Although it was his first cup appearance of the season without a goal (he had four goals in four before Sunday), Nketiah still earned the praise of his head coach for his performance. Arteta was impressed with all the young players on the day.

“They are evolving and they are really willing and they have a lot of personality to play,” Arteta said. “You can see the way they played today and Eddie as well, the way he came on and how he fights with everybody, he doesn’t care, so I really like that.”

Nketiah certainly didn’t hide in his brief appearance on the pitch. He contested 11 individual duels, won three free-kicks and committed three fouls. He also got back and made three clearances from Arsenal’s defensive third.

The 21-year-old capped off his display with a nice pass through to Nicolas Pepe, in the immediate build-up to the winning goal. It was just what you wanted from him in terms of application and commitment in the latter stages of the game.

That’s only going to endear Nketiah further to Arteta, who is clearly already happy with the way the striker is progressing.