A last-ditch attempt to get Eddie Nketiah to stay at Arsenal has failed with The Athletic reporting that the striker has rejected a new contract offer.
The 22-year-old will be out of contract in the summer and seems intent on testing himself in pastures new having struggled for minutes at the Emirates since breaking into Arsene Wenger’s first team as an 18-year-old.
While Mikel Arteta made a point of reintegrating Nketiah after a spell on loan at Leeds went sour, the striker hasn’t done enough to prove he’s capable of taking over from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette next year and the contract offer seemed more geared towards protecting his value in the transfer market.
That’s not to say that Nketiah doesn’t have a bright future ahead. His impressive record at Academy level, his incredible form for England under-21s and 15 goals in 67 appearances at senior level is evidence he has the raw ingredients to succeed at the top level.
Unsurprisingly, a host of clubs are said to be interested including Borussia Moenchengladbach, Nice and several in Italy. He has previously been linked with West Ham United and Crystal Palace. If he joins an English club, we’ll most likely be due some compensation for raising him through our system. The tribunal process takes into account a number of factors, including how he was valued by his current club, and a contract offer – even if we know he’s going to reject it – may play into that.
Nketiah will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs in January. We suspect if he does that, he may well be confined to the bench for the rest of the season, even with Aubameyang heading off to the AFCON in the new year.
The long-term belongs to Gabriel Martinelli and Folarin Balogun while an attacking signing next summer looks very likely.