Mikel Arteta says he hopes to keep Eddie Nketiah at Arsenal after he scored a hat-trick in the 5-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Sunderland.
Arsenal moved into the last four of the competition with a routine win over their League One opponents, with striker Nketiah starring, and 18-year-old Charlie Patino scoring in his first professional appearance for the side.
Speaking after the game, Arteta said of Patino: "He's a player that has a lot of personality. I'm delighted for him because he's a kid that we like so much. To have his debut and score like that is something special."
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He also discussed Nketiah, who has found it hard to dislodge Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang before him as the central striker at the Emirates.
Nketiah is out of contract in the summer and has reportedly refused to sign a new deal so far.
"That's what I want [for him to stay]," said Arteta. "His only thing is that he wants more minutes. That's his desire. As a club and me personally I really want him to stay here and that's what we're trying to do,” the Spaniard said.
"It’s not about anything else but minutes. He wants game time, he wants to be on that field and that is the only reason to say, can I do it here? That’s the question. We all want him to stay.
“I tell you every day that we want to keep Eddie. We see how he trains, that’s what he does every day, he works so hard and puts the ball in the net every session. I am really delighted with him. Every time we have needed him, he has always responded."
Inevitably, Arteta was also asked about the circumstances of dropped former captain Aubameyang, who once again was not picked for the first team, and has been linked with a January move to Barcelona.
"He wasn't selected for today's match,” he confirmed, giving nothing away about his future.
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