Eddie Nketiah has to step up in the big games, says William Gallas.
The Gunners lock horns with arch rivals Tottenham this afternoon and then host Manchester United seven days later. Nketiah has been leading the line since Gabriel Jesus was injured on international duty with Brazil.
But the north Londoners are actively scouring the transfer market for another forward. The 23-year-old Lewisham-born ace bagged a brace against Oxford in the FA Cup third round earlier this week.
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Gallas, however, reckons the pressure is now on Nketiah to perform against Spurs and United. "Before the World Cup started I said I hope Jesus won’t be injured and that Arsenal need a top striker just in case he does," said Gallas.
"It's very difficult for one player to play every game during the season, so you need that striker who can do the same job like Jesus. I said they should buy one striker, but they didn't do it.
"The question is if Nketiah can score goals against the big teams and if he can lead us to win games. If Arsenal haven’t bought any players, that means they will depend on him."
Arsenal are in the hunt for their first Premier League title since 2004. Gallas, who made 101 top-flight appearances for the Gunners, insists the club are going firmly in the right direction after years of turmoil.
But the former France international has warned that Mikel Arteta won't get a better chance to secure glory. "What is very important is for the manager to feel that he has the support from his board – and that's what he's got at the moment," he added.
"So he knows what he has to do and he's doing very well. I hope they're going to stay on top of the league as this season is the best opportunity to win it. Next season it will be more difficult, so that's why they have to fight. But even if they don't win it, they will definitely finish in the top four."
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