MIKEL ARTETA piled pressure on Arsenal to sign another striker after warning that Eddie Nketiah can’t do it all on his own.
The Gunners boss was delighted with Nketiah’s two-goal contribution in the 3-0 FA Cup win at League One Oxford.
That was Nketiah’s fourth goal in four games since Gabriel Jesus underwent a knee operation before Christmas.
But Arteta warned: “Eddie is getting better and better but the problem is that we have only one striker and to cope for that many months until Gabby Jesus is back is not easy.
“We have to get the most out of the players that we have at the moment but it will be great if we can get some reinforcements.”
Arsenal are still locked in negotiations with Shakhtar Donetsk for Ukrainian international Mykhailo Mudryk but have lost out to Chelsea in their attempts to take Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid.
That leaves all the onus on Nketiah and Arteta said: “Eddie has been patiently waiting for this moment but he has been preparing himself with the right mindset.
“That’s why he is performing the way he is and once again tonight he showed what a great finisher he is.
“He showed great composure with the timing of his runs and the decision making in waiting until the last moment when the keeper has committed himself shows his quality.
“His understanding and work-rate were top class.”
Nketiah added: “I’m grateful for the opportunities and I just want to keep helping the team.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy night because the pitch was tough with the way we want to play.
“We had a difficult start and we weren’t good enough in the first-half. But we stayed patient and we were better after the break and eventually got our reward.
“Manchester City away in the next round isn’t the best draw for us but we’re all up for it.”
The good news for table-topping Arsenal is they suffered no further injuries ahead of Sunday’s North London derby away to Spurs, with Arteta confirming that Bukayo Saka is fine despite limping off 15 minutes from the end of the game.
Arteta said: “It’s always tough to win these matches. They are a direct team and we needed to control certain things better.
“We needed more continuity, more speed and threat in our possession to create the spaces to open them up.
“But we changed a few things in the second-half and found the openings to win.”
Oxford boss Karl Robinson said: “My players can be proud of some of their display but we got a bit giddy in the second-half and that made us very vulnerable to their counter-attacking.
“We can’t get away from the fact that every team in the Premier League has been trying to stop Arsenal and they’re still five points clear at the top.
“We won’t come across another team with that speed and quality. We tried to play our way but the reality is that we don’t compete at that level.”