Ever since he rejected Arsenal’s new contract offer, it has been an open secret that Edward Nketiah wants an exit from the Emirates. Some Premier League clubs as well as clubs from other leagues have been keeping an eye on the young forward. One of those clubs is Bundesliga’s Bayer Leverkusen, who are reportedly discussing a pre-contract with the player.
The 22-year-old’s stance hasn’t changed since rebuffing the contract extension offer, despite Arteta publicly reiterating his desire to keep hold of the player and hoping the forward would extend his contract with Arsenal. He said:
“I’ve already spoken about Eddie, how I feel about him, the intentions of the club. He’s with us and every day he shows me that he wants to stay with us.”
According to Daily Mail, German club Bayer Leverkusen want to sign Edward Nketiah, whose contract with Arsenal will end at the end of this season and have entered talks with the player’s representatives to sign a pre-contract deal, potentially joining in the summer. The Bundesliga club have a reputation for moulding youngsters into future stars.
Bayer Leverkusen have reportedly started discussions with Nketiah over a future deal. 📝
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) January 3, 2022
Meanwhile, some PL clubs have also been linked with the young striker. Crystal Palace, who were very close to signing a deal with Nketiah in the summer, have registered an interest in signing the player. The Eagles will have to battle the German club to sign the youngster. Other English clubs who are also monitoring the situation include Leeds United, Brighton, and fellow Londoners, West Ham.
Keeping hold of the player would be very difficult for the Gunners, especially given the fact that Mikel Arteta has hardly used Nketiah this season in the Premier League. His 3 league appearances this season amount to a total of 38 minutes. However, the English striker’s five goals in three matches have helped the Gunners progress to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Many young Gunners have made their mark this season in the Premier League. These include the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, all playing a vital role in Arsenal competing for a top-four position. However, that has not been the case with Nketiah, who has not had the chance to prove himself under Arteta.
Understand Crystal Palace and Brighton remain keen on Eddie Nketiah – ideally, in this window. Could be tough though. Leverkusen also interested https://t.co/5iYsg0FXXo
— Tom Barclay (@TomBarclay_) January 4, 2022
Edward Nketiah was far behind in the pecking order of Arsenal’s forward line. Alexandre Lacazette stands ahead of him, but Aubameyang’s recent issues and Folarin Balogun reportedly moving away on loan may grant the young striker another chance to show Arteta his abilities.
However, to convince the forward to extend his stay at the Emirates, the Spaniard needs to change his stance. Nketiah wants regular game-time and the Spaniard needs to offer the same. Nevertheless, at this point, his exit from the Emirates seems more likely.
The Gunners are being linked with a host of other strikers as well. Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic, Lille’s Jonathan David and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak are some of the names which have been doing the rounds as the reported targets of the club.
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