Eddie Nketiah had a point to prove last weekend as he scored a historic hat-trick for the Gunners.
The Arsenal striker was ruthless in front of goal as Sheffield United were beaten 5-0 at the Emirates, netting a hat-trick to silence some of his critics.
Ahead of today’s clash with Newcastle, we consider whether he could successfully lead the line for the rest of this season and beyond.
Hitting new heights
Nketiah’s goals against Sheffield United were all high-quality finishes.
The 24-year-old looked every bit a top-class forward as he punished the visitors’ poor defending.
His third goal was particularly impressive — an emphatic strike into the top-left corner from 20 yards out.
And Mikel Arteta was understandably pleased with his No14’s performance.
He said: “I’m really happy for him, an academy player, to experience in the Premier League a hat-trick.
“He needs to enjoy the moment. He fully deserves it and hopefully there are many more to come.
“He needs minutes, opportunities and service. If he gets that, Eddie is going to score goals, that’s for sure. He’s a great player for Arsenal.
“He can be better — and the best thing is the talent that he’s got, but especially his mentality is incredible. When he has that mentality, with that talent, he’s going to get much better.”
Step it up
Last weekend’s hat-trick took Nketiah to five league goals for the campaign from an expected goals tally of just 2.99.
There is no doubting the England international’s finishing ability but he must now deliver more consistently.
The striker had not scored since August — when he netted in a 2-2 draw with Fulham — prior to the Sheffield United win.
And his hat-trick came against a team with the worst defensive record after 10 matches of any team in Premier League history.
The ability is there, particularly when confidence is flowing — but hitting those heights more consistently will be the next challenge for Nketiah.
He struggled to impact the game in last month’s 1-0 win over Manchester City and was subdued as a substitute in his side’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea.
And in midweek he was largely nullified again as Arsenal fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat at West Ham in the Carabao Cup.
Whether Nketiah will realise his potential and become a consistent top-flight goalscorer remains to be seen.
With Gabriel Jesus out injured until December, the London native will certainly have more opportunities to impress.
But in the longer term, playing alongside Jesus could also benefit Nketiah — with former Chelsea and Ireland striker Tony Cascarino suggesting the Arsenal man is in need of a partner.
He said: “I keep looking at Nketiah and thinking, ‘How good would you be with a partner?’
“If you had someone alongside him, because he’s very Ian Wright-like. Ian always had a partner, Eddie doesn’t have that.
“I just think it’s a tough gig to expect him to get lots and lots of goals.”
Nketiah will hope good times are on the horizon after his excellent hat-trick last time out in the Premier League — starting with this evening’s difficult trip to the North East.