With under three days left in the transfer window, Newcastle have turned their attention to Eddie Nketiah. The 22-year-old is out of contract in June. However, the Magpies are interested in signing the Englishman before the January deadline day, according to reports.
Newcastle United’s ambitious squad overhaul has barely taken shape yet. The Magpies are fighting for survival in the Premier League and would have hoped to see an influx of players in the winter transfer window. However, Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier remain the only two players to have arrived at St. James’ Park so far, with Bruno Guimaraes soon joining.
Nketiah has grown frustrated with his lack of game-time at the Emirates. The Englishman finds himself behind Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the pecking order. Nketiah has only 55 minutes in the Premier League so far.
He has been a regular in Arsenal’s FA Cup and EFL pursuits and even scored a remarkable hat-trick against Sunderland. Nketiah however, turns 23 in May. In the current Arsenal set-up, younger players like Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli have established themselves as starters under Mikel Arteta.
Arteta had earlier said that Nketiah will not be allowed to leave in the January transfer window. Clubs like Bayer Leverkusen and Crystal Palace were interested in signing the forward and regularly linked up to that point. However, Arteta finds himself sorely short of options going forward.
Alexandre Lacazette remains Arsenal’s only true 9 option at the moment apart from Nketiah. Aubameyang’s prolonged exile continues. The 32-year-old last took the field in an Arsenal jersey as a late substitute in a 2-1 loss to Everton.
Folarin Balogun has also been allowed to leave on a loan. To make matters worse, the Gunners have had little good news in the transfer window. Dusan Vlahovic was heavily linked, only for the Serbian to join Juventus instead. Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak has been linked, but a move seems unlikely to materialize.
However, a tempting offer from Newcastle United could still change Arteta’s tune regarding Nketiah. The Telegraph suggest that talks between the clubs are progressing well. The 22-year-old could travel to St. James’ Park to complete the move over the weekend.
According to The Telegraph, Newcastle are in talks with Arsenal for Eddie Nketiah! 👀
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) January 29, 2022
Nketiah has been linked with a move to Newcastle in the past too. Right after Joe Willock signed for the Magpies on a permanent contract, he was asked to invite fellow Hale End graduates Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson. BBC Newcastle (via Arsenal Insider) quoted Willock’s response:
“I don’t know, I don’t know their situation. Eddie is one of my best friends, so I’ll definitely put in a good word!”
Another boost to the progression of this deal would be Edu’s green flag. The Brazilian is willing to sell the young striker for £9 million. This could open the doors for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a player on both Arsenal and Newcastle United’s radar.
If the player does leave, the Gunners have little time to bring in a replacement. The Gunners are also on the hunt for a midfielder by deadline day. Arteta has been urged to re-institute Aubameyang into the side, but fans would back the Spaniard’s stern stance so far.
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Albeit short of options, Arteta is not completely helpless. Martin Odegaard can function as a false-9 if necessary. Gabriel Martinelli could also be shifted into a central role to restore Smith Rowe into the left-wing, once Partey and Xhaka return. The options of Nicolas Pepe, Charlie Patino and Nuno Tavares also provide Arteta to mix things around a little and experiment with different players centrally and out-wide.
Should Arsenal sell Nketiah to Newcastle? Should Aubameyang be given another chance under Arteta? Which forward should the Gunners target with the given constraints? Let us know in the comments.
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