Arteta dismisses Nketiah exit story, reveals Torreira chats


Mikel Arteta has rejected suggestions that Eddie Nketiah could leave the club in January.

Last week, the Evening Standard claimed that the England under-21 international had been lined up by West Ham United as a possible replacement for Sebastien Haller.

When asked in Monday’s press conference if there was any truth in the rumour, the boss emphatically replied, “No.”

While Arsenal have been successful in shifting three players out of the club in the last week – Matt Macey, Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba – and could soon wave goodbye to Mesut Ozil and Sokratis, there have been remarkably few stories linking the Gunners with new recruits.

Norwich City midfielder Emi Buendia and regular Arsenal tormentor Diego Costa, who has been released by Atletico Madrid, have been mentioned in passing but there doesn’t seem to be much meat on the bones in either case.

“We get linked with players that we haven’t even discussed so I’m not going to go name by name,” said Arteta when pressed on those two.

As things stand, Arsenal have enough room to include Gabriel Martinelli in the Europa League squad but that’s it. More players need to go before others can arrive.

What we certainly don’t want is players sent on loan coming back prematurely. While Lucas Torreira is thought to be unhappy in Madrid due to a lack of game time under Diego Simeone’s table-topping Atletico, the boss is hopeful the Uruguayan will stick things out.

“I have had some conversations with Lucas,” he admitted. “He started the loan period really well but now he is lacking game time.

“It can happen, the team is doing exceptionally well, they are first in La Liga and when a team is winning it is difficult to get into the starting line up.

“It is a long season, I know Lucas’ character, he is going to try to keep going and keep pushing too let’s see what will happen.”

Should Atletico decide they definitely aren’t going to play Torreira, it sounds as though Fiorentina are waiting in the wings.

The Italian side were keen on a deal for the player in the summer and are thought to be sniffing around again.

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Nketiah needs to go on loan. Bielsa was right, Eddie runs to score. His link up play is quite average, and not sure if he has blistering pace.

Such players need to work a lot on their off the ball runs to play for top teams. A loan will help him get more experience for fighting for his place.

Johnny 4 Hats

It feels like we’ve never quite suited a penalty box predator. Jeffers never worked. Bendtner neither. Eduardo was so much more than that.

I’m sure Eddie could score 15-20 a season for a Palace or a Southampton. But for me personally, he’s looking less and less an Arsenal player with every passing game.

If Arteta is anything like Pep then I doubt he will massively fancy him either. Pep asks a lot more from his CF than just being in the right place at the right time.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

AT the same time the lack of variety in our players is a problem. Inzaghi and Trezeguet were only predators and very prolific. They made their clubs win their leagues years after years. Trezeguet was once told he wasn’t fast enough and he responded: “It is in your head that you need to be fast”. For now, this is what is limiting Eddie, being fast in the brain.

Johnny 4 Hats

Maybe they played a different style of football because we seem to rely heavily on our CF’s to link play a lot. Think of the last few Laca performances. The thing that has made them so good is not his clinical finishing but his ability to find a carved pass in transitions.

I’m not sure Eddie has that in his locker.

Give youth a chance

I like him and feel theres a good striker in him, but a loan may be best all around. Especially if it opens up minutes for Balogun and convinces him to sign a new deal


yes. was similar situation for aguero under pep for quite a while, and he is arguably the best predator of them all. if we want to play this style of football it’s very hard to integrate two players who did little beyond finishing chances, never mind two (i’m looking at you auba!). i would take the money for eddie and make sure we keep balogun and see what he can do.

Michael Bolton Wanderers

bendtner… Really? He’s been a bench warmer at every single club since arsenal. From Italy to the championship, and last but not least, he kept a nice place on the bench in the Norwegian Tippeligaen

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah. I know. Was trying to think of a fox in the box that has played for Arsenal and I couldn’t really think of any.

If in doubt, use Bendtner. But on the right wing, just for the lolz.


He actually won the league in Norway and had an ok season with10+ goals, think he won the cup as well. Then it turned sour when he punched a taxi driver and got sued. RBK didnt approve of his behavior. Shocking, I know.


Eduardo must go down as our biggest ‘what-if’, even moreso than Diaby or Wilshere for me.
God what a player he was.. Still remember that volley against Burnley in the FA Cup when I thought he’d come back as he left. Sadly never quite happened. Still convinced we’d have had a title in those late-noughties/ early-2010 years with him at peak of his powers ahead of Cesc, Flamini, Rosicky, Hleb etc.

Johnny 4 Hats

You can’t help who you fall in love with. And I fell hard for Eduardo.


yea, and I always feel Vela was a young Eduardo and will do what he didn’t manage to do. Same result though, and we haven’t had someone who resemble their style of play after them.

Johnny 4 Hats

They always end up breaking your heart.

Or their leg.

Give youth a chance

For me, the biggest ‘what if’ was Reyes.

If only Man U hadn’t kicked him out of playing

A Voice in the Noise

R.I.P. José 💔


Spot on. The smart thing to do with Nketiah is to send him on loan to a Burnley or a Sheffield United. At the moment he’s not good enough to justify a place in the first team. I don’t know if he ever will be an Arsenal player. Keeping him around make no sense. But Arteta is stubborn with players he likes.

The priority now is to bring in a decent back-up goalkeeper, and then sen Runersson on his way.

Limpars chip

Eh oh Smith Rowe



Now is not the time to get rid of Eddie. He could yet develop into a top player.

And, with Martinelli out and Balogun still to pen a new contract, a useful name to have on the bench at least.

Public Elneny

But what if Eddie staying increases the chance Balogun will leave?


Well, I would do my best to keep both players.

Let’s face it, good as they are, Laca and Auba are in the autumn of their careers.

We need good young players that we can develop as ready made replacements – Nketiah and Balogun certainly fit the bill.

They could both save us a fortune in the transfer market.


At this point you have to wonder if it’s really just down to playing time. It seems unlikely we keep Laca past this year if for no other reason than we have too many players in their 30s in our front line which should mean Eddie & Balgoun both have clear shots at the center forward position next year.


Well said.


Is it out of the picture using Torreira ourselves? Am I the only one thinking that a midfield of Torreira and Partey, with a creative midfielder infront of them, could have a lot of potential?

David Hillier's luggage

More that he’s take up Martinelli’s non-homegrown UEFA squad place if we bring him back this window and don’t shift anyone else. Next season is a different story though.

We can drop Mustafi from the uefa squad list. Probably won’t need him now with Holding, Gabriel, Mari, Luiz, and Chambers fit.


I’ve always thought Torreira was a good player and it was a disgrace that Emery began playing him out of position – and more or less ruined his career with us in the process.

He probably would link up quite well with Partey, but Arteta seems sold on Xhaka and Elneny – mores the pity.

Sir John King

Diego Costa, hell yeah! I’d say sign him up to a 3-year deal. He’d be free, after all.

Dr Zebra

I can only assume that this is sarcasm, right?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He would Costa fortune in wages and signing on fee.

Fireman Sam

Yes and also he’s a vile human


Arteta has no choice but to back Eddie publicly. He’d be a very bad manager to depreciate his own asset during an interview. I like Eddie and I think he can be a midtable striker in the Prem – but he doesn’t have the requisite technical ability or athleticism to really cement his place at Arsenal longterm. He’s someone our Academy can be proud of, but we have to be willing to move on from him and fill our coffers/make way for others (Maybe the Balogun ship has sailed, but TJJ and others are knocking on the door). If he’s… Read more »


He hasn’t done the same when it comes to Runarsson or Saliba, for example. I really get the impression Arteta wants to get something out of Eddie that we all don’t see. Particularly, I think its a shame, since he seems average/unsuited to Arsenal’s style of football, could garner some money (since his contract will be shorter in the summer, and since the january market is a bit inflated) and free up space for Balogun. Let’s hope we’re in the wrong here and not Arteta.


Come on now, we have seen Arteta more than willing to depreciate his assets.


Why are we so impatient with young players. Eddie is clearly solid young player. He just doesn’t have the bulk to compete in premiership yet. Loan him out and let him grow stronger. I am sure he will return a much better player. It isn’t easy playing and growing as a player in front of a very cynical audience.


When he comes back in the summer there will be at least 1 CM spot that Ceballos has vacated (I can’t see him coming for a 3rd season).

Torreira and Guendouzi will fight for that spot, and at the moment Guendouzi would get it (if we wants it) because he is playing. Torreira needs to move to play, otherwise he’ll just lose value to us as either a player or someone to sell in the summer.

SB Still

Arteta seems vested in some players – I don’t have to name the top one. Atleast in this case its an youngster.

Wonder what’s his thinking choosing between (1.5 seasons) Eddie and Balogun in the medium term because with possibly there place for 1 of them.


Sell Eddie. Keep Balogun


Wow! You would think Nketiah is from a rival team! Firstly, the young man mainly played and struggled at a time when the entire team struggled; even Aubameyang and Lacazette struggled too! Yet everyone is turning against Nketiah. Secondly, what has Balogun accomplished that Eddie didn’t at that age? Sure, Baolgun appeared in a couple of Europa games and looked good. But didn’t Nketiah look good when he came on and scored two goals against Norwich? Didn’t he look good when he kept scoring for Leeds? Remember, we have not yet seen Balogun play against the tough teams in the… Read more »


Wow! A measured take! How rare!!!


And by ‘measured’, you mean ‘that I agree with’.


There is absolutely no reason why this club cannot accommodate both players – especially with Auba and Laca nearing the end of their careers. We get caught time and time again by weakening our squad and then wasting valuable time and money in the following transfer windows trying to rectify stupid and decisions. Our goalkeeping situation is a case in point. I said that there was no reason to sell Martinez – and look at us now – scrambling around in the window trying to avoid a potential disaster scenario of a long term injury to Leno. We never ever… Read more »


Do you consider Thomas Partey a reason? We could barely afford him as it was. I’m not sure it’s a case of the club “never ever fucking learning” as it is choosing a huge midfield upgrade over a backup keeper (although I personally preferred Martinez).


* (and) idiotic (decisions)


I don’t think we need Torreira unless there are any injuries in midfield.

We may need Nketiah if Martinelli becomes unavailable. Also to hedge prob wise to keep Nelson but prob more 50-50 with Reiss depending if he can secure a reasonable loan spell.


Back up keeper is at moment the MAIN priority. If we can bring someone in on loan in midfield, could be useful considering Elneny may not continue past this season, Ceballos loan will end. Guendouzi of course if he can get his head straight may be a consideration to return in the summer albeit I think it is unlikely given bad blood with gaffer. Some mention of potentially Brandt but he is now injured so that put a stop to that. Buendia also mentioned but depends on Norwich final asking price. He looks underrated. Isco does not look likely whilst… Read more »

Disarmed Gunner

Fundamentally, Nketiah is a fine player who hasn’t done much wrong. Problem is blocking the path of Balogun and that seems to be the issue. But we really should be looking at Arteta here for continually having faith in him. Don’t assume that if we get Nketiah out that suddenly Arteta is gonna magically transform and start Balogun more often. He would rather play Willian up front, I’m sure.

Jack of All

Surely the main problem is Balogun’s agent (also Eddie’s agent) who seems to be holding out on a deal?

Don Cazorleone

Sell them both and promote Balogun and Azeez.


We need to sell to raise money to buy so it’s the old question: who can we sell (meaning who do we have to sell that other clubs actually want to buy – so that excludes a fair number straight away, doesn’t it)? Although we’re finally offloading a number of the unwanted when their contracts end in the summer which reduces the wage bill – very welcome as it’s far too high anyway – but it doesn’t provide transfer funds. If we want to strengthen the team then one (or two) will have to go. If not our old pal,… Read more »

AMN's cheeky grin

It’s still possible that Balogun stays, even if Eddie stays.

If we offered Balogun an extension with a decent salary rise and promised him a well thought through loan somewhere he will get game time for the rest of the season (in PL, Championship or Bundesliga), that would seem a pretty decent proposition to me. He’s only 19, so he could even go on loan again next season – there’s plenty of time.


I think Balogun is a talent (if more potential than actual at present) so would very much like to retain him. A “careful” loan would do him good – we don’t want another “Saliba” episode as that fiasco appears to have pushed him into wanting a permanent move away now.


Club blustering for a permanent transfer from another foreign club.

If they took him back from loan other clubs would simply offer a loan fee again.

Fair enough gamble


Given the struggles in midfield, I think we should be happy to get Torreira back if it comes to that. It hasn’t really worked for him here so far, but for me he could bring something to the midfield that neither Xhaka nor Elneny can. He’s at least a decent option to have,