According to reports in the Daily Mail and The Athletic, Eddie Nketiah is on the verge of signing a new deal at Arsenal.
The striker, 22, had been heavily tipped to leave the club after voicing concern about a lack of playing time. However, after a run of eight consecutive starts at the tail end of the 21/22 campaign, which included five goals, he seems convinced he’ll continue to get the opportunities he always felt he deserved.
Nketiah burst onto the scene in 2017 during Arsene Wenger’s tenure, coming off the bench against Norwich in the League Cup to bag a match-winning brace. Only 18 at the time, he was immediately rewarded with a five-year deal.
Facing stiff competition for minutes from the likes of Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and unable to grab the attention of Unai Emery, the attacker subsequently struggled to make his mark at Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta was quick to reintegrate the striker off the back of a six-month loan spell at Leeds United but despite raving about the player’s quality and commitment he has, until recently, been reticent to start him in the Premier League.
Nketiah’s record of 23 goals in 92 appearances for the Gunners is nothing to be sniffed, especially at his age. And when you consider the 5 goals in 19 appearances at Elland Road and his record-breaking exploits for England’s under 21s (16 goals in 17 appearances) it’s clear he knows where the goal is.
There is still plenty of room for improvement – had he put away a couple of chances off the bench earlier in the season we might be playing Champions League football – but the potential is there and his staying will alleviate the pressure to bring in an entirely new strike force.