West Ham United are the latest entrants in the race to sign Eddie Nketiah from Arsenal. According to Football Insider, West Ham United have turned to Eddie Nketiah after their failed pursuit of Ben Brereton Diaz and Armando Broja. Nketiah has already rejected a few proposals from Arsenal to extend his contract at the club.
The 22-year-old striker has a contract with Arsenal expiring at the end of this season. This allows any foreign club to hold talks with the player for a pre-contract agreement. However, there are no concrete leads about any club from Premier League expressing their interest in the player. Moreover, he might cost a few million because of the development cost of Arsenal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left Arsenal to join Barcelona in January. Despite that, Nketiah has had only 19 appearances this season for Arsenal in all competitions (stats via Transfermarkt). West Ham currently have Michail Antonio as their main striker and Andriy Yarmolenko who can also play as their striker. However, the Ukrainian forward is now 32-years-old with not a lot of time left in his career. Therefore, the Hammers will need back-up in the form of a younger striker in the long term.
Why Do West Ham United Want Eddie Nketiah?
Eddie Nketiah likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender. His pace and movement make it difficult for the defenders to catch him as he gets into better positions to score. He also has very good shooting skills and could be on target from anywhere inside the box. He was more heavily involved than Lacazette when he came on as a substitute in Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace.
He can also play as a wide forward which makes him a versatile player. His pace allows him to be comfortable on either of the flanks. Nketiah scored a hattrick when Arsenal played against Sunderland in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup. But other than that, he has been poor this season for Arsenal considering his talent and skill.
Nketiah rose from the ranks at the Arsenal academy to being included in the Arsenal senior team squad. However, despite his exceptional natural ability and skill, he has failed to keep up with the other youngsters at Arsenal. His high potential is what attracts the other clubs to continue his development. Once he is fully developed, he can be a real headache for the defenders.
Is It The Right Call For The Gunners To Sell Nketiah?
Although he has very high potential and good skills, he has failed to step up to the standards of Arsenal. He has been with the senior squad of the club since 2018/19. Nketiah also spent one season on loan to Leeds United where he won the Championship.
The North London side thought to keep the player in the squad after his trophy-winning season with Leeds. However, truth be told, he did not make a significant contribution at Elland Road, having scored just 5 goals in 19 appearances.
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This was a very crucial season for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta and the very little help by Nketiah has been valuable for the club. But if Arsenal want to compete for trophies consistently then they will need players who contribute on a regular basis. Although Arsenal needs to sign strikers in the summer, they don’t see Eddie Nketiah as the solution.
Eddie Nketiah does not look like he could be Arsenal’s main striker as of now. He needs a fresh start somewhere else where he can express himself. Arsenal will also profit from his sale and they can use those funds to make the important recruitments ahead of their crucial next year. Nketiah still has years ahead of him and may see a massive jump in his growth later in his career.
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