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Why Transfer Move To Crystal Palace For Arsenal Striker Fell Through Despite Player Open To Switch

Eddie Nketiah, Crystal Palace

One of the craziest summer transfer windows is now over. Many teams pushed late to finalise that one last deal that could give their squads an extra edge. Arsenal were successful in signing Takehiro Tomiyasu, as Bellerin departed to Real Betis on a season-long loan deal. On the exit front, however, the club failed to reach an agreement with Crystal Palace for Eddie Nketiah.

Eddie Nketiah, Crystal Palace
(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

The North London club were quite busy on the deadline day. The club added some more money to their expenditure bag and brought in Tomiyasu from Bologna. The versatile defender cost the Gunners around £19m with several clubs keeping tabs on the Japanese international, including North London rivals Tottenham.

Meanwhile, there were three deadline day exits from the club, all loan deals. Hector Bellerin, who is contracted with the Gunners till 2023, completed his move to Real Betis. Reiss Nelson joined Feyenoord after the Eredivisie side pulled out of a deal to sign Amad Diallo due to injury. Finally, goalkeeper Alex Runarsson signed for Belgian side OH Leuven. However, many players who were on the exit list failed to do so within the deadline, one such name is Eddie Nketiah.

Many sources claimed that among several clubs, Crystal Palace were best placed to sign Eddie Nketiah. Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth gave an update about this on his personal Twitter handle, saying that the Eagles were still pushing to sign the player, but there was a gap in the player’s valuation. He also mentioned an unnamed German club in the mix.

Another Sky Sports journalist, Michael Bridge, confirmed that Patrick Vieira’s team wanted to sign Nketiah for weeks before the deadline on 31st August. Speaking to Transfer Tavern, Bridge revealed Palace’s interest in the Arsenal player:

“They were in talks for weeks with Arsenal over Eddie Nketiah. They’ve said to Arsenal ‘we’re not going to go above £12million we actually think that’s probably a bit too much’, but Arsenal have said ’20, he’s out of contract at the end of the season.”

As talks with the Gunners did not materialise, Palace went on to sign Odsonne Edouard from Celtic on the deadline day. The transfer fee is reported to be around £15m. Many sources claimed that Edouard was manager Patrick Viera’s preferred choice for the striker role.

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Eddie Nketiah has featured in 65 matches for the Gunners’ first team. He has scored 13 goals and assisted one. Last season, under Arteta, the forward started just 4 Premier League games and found the goal twice. He is primarily a centre-forward but has played at all positions in a front-three attack. Thus, the 22-year-old is a highly versatile player.

With Eddie Nketiah not being able to secure a move to Crystal Palace, it will be interesting to see how Mikel Arteta uses him. The Spaniard has so far preferred Folarin Balogun as the backup striker. With the Gunners languishing at 16th position, at the time of writing, with just one goal in four league matches so far, Nketiah can help Arteta ease the pressure.

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Abir Chaudhuri
A football fan who loves to write about the game.

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