MARTIN KEOWN: Electric Eddie Nketiah is like a new signing for Arsenal. His big performances are helping his club stay on course in the Premier League title race in Gabriel Jesus' absence 

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MARTIN KEOWN: Electric Eddie Nketiah is like a new signing for Arsenal. His big performances are helping his club stay on course in the Premier League title race in Gabriel Jesus' absence

If Eddie Nketiah was a new signing, you’d be buzzing over this acquisition as an Arsenal fan. 

We could highlight the games of Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli from this win over Brighton

But Nketiah deserves as much praise as anyone after a truly strong performance at the head of the team. 

Eddie Nketiah is like a new signing to Arsenal fans amid his impressive displays this term

Eddie Nketiah is like a new signing to Arsenal fans amid his impressive displays this term

Eddie Nketiah is like a new signing to Arsenal fans amid his impressive displays this term

He was tirelessly running into the channels, using his strength to hold up the ball and being a predator in the box, which was how he scored his goal. 

Arsenal worked hard to keep Nketiah when they could have lost him in the summer.

Mikel Arteta gave him a new five-year deal in June, just before his old contract was due to expire. 

He had been contributing from the bench. Now he’s doing it from the start, showing why he is England Under 21s’ all-time top goalscorer. 

He signed a new five-year deal with the Gunners last summer, when he could have left the club

He signed a new five-year deal with the Gunners last summer, when he could have left the club

His big performances are helping his club stay on course in this Premier League title race. Arsenal’s players will have known that Manchester City dropped points. 

For some teams, that might have added pressure and affected their performance. 

Yet such is the self-belief among the Arsenal group, they aren’t looking over their shoulder. Instead they’re going for it. 

They took the game to Brighton from the off, playing without fear and showing their desire to want to smother their opponents. 

Mikel Arteta will focus on their coming Premier League games, rather than the overall prize

Mikel Arteta will focus on their coming Premier League games, rather than the overall prize

That was impressive to see, given the Amex Stadium is a tough place to visit. Arsenal are now seven points clear of City but of the 30 teams to have been top of the Premier League on New Year’s Day, only 16 have gone on to win the title. 

Arsenal’s next six Premier League games are: Newcastle, Tottenham, Manchester United, Everton, Brentford, Manchester City. 

All of them look tricky. But Arsenal are rising to this challenge. Arteta will want them to go into these six games with the same single-minded desire to beat any opponent in front of them and not even think about the overall prize of winning the Premier League. 

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