Eddie Nketiah says he won’t make a decision about his future until the end of the season even though Arsenal have offered him a new contract.
Concerned about his lack of playing time at Emirates Stadium, the 22-year-old, who will be a free agent in the summer, appears to be laying the groundwork for a move.
Appearing on The Beautiful Game Podcast, the striker said: “I’m under contract until the end of the season but my deal runs out. ”
“There have talks and offers of a new contract but at the moment my aim is to play football and play regularly.
“That’s my ambition and that’s what I hope to do but at the same time I’m at Arsenal, I love Arsenal.
“I’m just trying to focus on the season until May and make sure I finish that in a good way and then sit down and see what I think is the best opportunity to allow me to take those steps and develop.
“I feel like I’m at the stage where I’ve signed a contract for five years when I was 18 and in that five years, how many starts have I had here? I went on loan for six months and been here for the rest and I have probably started about 30 games maybe in all competitions.
“I see players my age that I’ve played with and they kick on and it’s like ‘what’s the difference between someone I was playing with at England Under-21s?’.
“I was the captain for them and they’re doing more. It’s not even a thing of looking at them and hating them, I’m happy for them, but how did they get to the point where they are feeling confident and it’s through playing those games and having that experience.
“For me to take the next step and get to where I think I can get to I obviously need to consider getting more minutes and playing. That’s the thinking behind it.”
On interest in him in January, thought to be from Crystal Palace and West Ham, he added:
“I know there were teams interested and offers made and rejected. Offers were rejected. I’m aware of the interest but I try not to get too hands-on with those things as it can affect your day-to-day. I’ve got a good agency and family around me and I let them deal with things.”
Having made such an impact on his debut under Arsene Wenger five years ago, it’s obvious Eddie hasn’t kicked on in the way he might have hoped.
In fact, Saturday’s match against Southampton was his first Premier League start of the season, which is amazing when you consider the dearth of options we’ve had in attack since January. In that respect, you can hardly begrudge the player a move.
If Nketiah joins another side in England in the summer, the Gunners will be entitled to compensation for having helped raise him. Whether that comes anywhere close to the sums offered at the turn of the year remains to be seen.
You can watch the full interview below…