Eddie Nketiah has pocketed 38 Dream Team points in his last four outings

IT’S never too late in the Dream Team season to acknowledge a thriving performer.

Arsenal took a huge step towards Champions League qualification this weekend with a 2-1 win over Leeds at the Emirates.

Eddie Nketiah (£2.3m) was the hero on Sunday afternoon, scoring twice against the team that took him on loan in 2019/20 to give the Gunners a four-point lead over Tottenham in the race for fourth.

In fact, Mikel Arteta’s side are now just a point behind stuttering Chelsea and may fancy their chances of finishing third with three fixtures remaining.

The 22-year-old striker pounced on a loose touch from Illan Meslier (£1.5m) to open the scoring in the fifth minute and converted a Gabriel Martinelli (£1.9m) pass five minutes later as Arsenal swarmed Jesse Marsch’s side in the first half.

Nketiah’s goals were also enough to earn him the Star Man award when all was said and done, meaning he pocketed 18 points.

Add in his brace against Chelsea at the back end of last month and the Gunners’ No30 has banked 38 points in his last four outings.

His style is rather old-school as he identifies more with the fox-in-the-box poachers of eras passed than contemporary false nines.

Nketiah’s predatory instincts have also been his greatest attribute – he scores an extraordinary amount of tap-ins – but some Arsenal fans believe he has not evolved into the player he threatened to become a few years back.

Still 22 years old, there is time for further development but it’s unclear whether Arsenal will offer him an improved contract with the promise of more minutes before his current deal expires at the end of term – he has already rejected two offers and is expected to seek more playing time elsewhere.

If these are to be the last days of Nketiah in an Arsenal shirt then the Emirates faithful will surely be thankful for his efforts in helping them back to the brink of Europe’s premier continental club competition.

Four goals in five starts since Alexander Lacazette’s (£3.9m) injury have taken his overall tally to nine for the season.

His strike rate works out at one goal every 110 minutes in all competitions in 2021/22.

Desperate Dream Team gaffers may be thinking of transferring Nketiah into their XI for the final Game Weeks of the campaign – he currently appears in just 0.4%.

Evidently a natural goalscorer, it will be interesting to see where he plays his football next season.

Several Premier League clubs are seemingly in need of a poacher – Brighton stand out in such a list – and Nketiah’s current fruitful spell may well put him on the watch list of a few Dream Team managers if he does become a regular somewhere.

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