Things just simply have not really kicked on for Eddie Nketiah at Arsenal. He was always a youngster that showed promise. In his debut campaign under Wenger he popped up with a couple of crucial goals. He stalled a bit under Emery with a wasted loan move to Leeds. Then when Arteta came in, at first it seemed like the Spaniard quite liked him. He was a frequent inclusion off the bench in the latter stages of the 2019/20 season. Even at the start of this season he got his chances, primarily in the Europa League group stages.
However, in the last couple of months he has really become Arsenal’s forgotten man. I have hardly seen him play recently. Very often he fails to even make the bench. His promising start at Arsenal has seemed to just lose momentum.
That being said, there is still a decent young player in there. David Moyes has apparently recognised that and has made him a top transfer target for West Ham in the summer. Arsenal value Nketiah at a reported £30 million, but that will likely continue to drop as we get closer to his departure, considering he will only have 12 months left on his current deal in the summer.
I think on balance this would be good business for Arsenal. It is quite sad we never gave him a decent loan somewhere. Like I said before, he moved to Leeds and started well but Bielsa always preferred Bamford to lead the line. It’s a shame we never got to see Nketiah given a proper loan spell. It is ultimately what helped us work out what Smith Rowe was truly made of.
That being said, it could be good news for Folarin Balogun. He is a youngster that Arsenal fans have been crying out for to be included more in the first team. Well, I think that Arteta will be looking at next season as a potential break through season for him. Lacazette could also be set to depart in the summer, meaning even if we do bring in another striker, Balogun will surely get more game time than he is right now.
My main frustration with the deal is that it is a deal that could have already been done. Rumours had it in January that West Ham had offered us £20 million for Nketiah, but at the time Arteta thought he wanted him in his long term plans. That appears now to have changed
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