Premier League • England

Eddie Nketiah: New Arsenal deal finally confirmed as Arteta speaks out and striker takes iconic Gunners shirt No

Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal striker, celebrates his goal in Premier League match v Everton at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has finally ended speculation over his future after signing a new deal to cement his future to the club.

The record England U21 goalscorer was out of contract at Emirates Stadium and subject of plenty of speculation over his future. The likes of Crystal Palace, West Ham and Leeds were all reportedly exploring the possibility of signing him. However, after several round of talks, it emerged late last month that Nketiah has decided to stay.

Now the agreement has been made official – and Nketiah has celebrated the news by changing squad shirts to No 14. That was previously worn by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and made famous by club record scorer Thierry Henry.

As per the club’s official website, a statement confirms Nketiah’s new deal.

“Eddie Nketiah is extending his stay with us after agreeing a new long-term contract. Eddie has been with us since he was 14, making 92 first-team appearances and scoring 23 goals since his first-team debut in 2017.

“The 22-year-old made the transition from Hale End to London Colney during a highly successful youth career for both club and country, and marked his home debut with two goals against Norwich City in the Carabao Cup in 2017.

“Eddie also featured in the teams that won the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2020. He finished the recent 2021/22 season in fine form, starting our last eight league games and scoring five goals.”

Arteta, Edu express Eddie Nketiah delight

Mikel Arteta and Edu have also expressed their joy following the news.

“I’m delighted Eddie is staying with us,” Arsenal boss Arteta said. “He represents what we are all about and all the values of the club. We are very happy that he has extended his contract. Now we have to get to work and continue to develop the great talent and person that we have in him.”

Edu added: “The foundations of this squad are built on young talent and in particular those who have come through our Academy system.

“Eddie was released by another club as a young man but has always shown he has the attitude as well as the ability to become a top player.

“The fact he’s signed a new contract is an important part of our squad planning for next season. We’re all delighted.”

Extention to kick off busy period for Arsenal

Nketiah’s new deal will likely kick off a hectic spell of transfer activity for the Gunners.

They soon expect to complete the signing of Fabio Vieira, the Porto man arriving in a £34m transfer.

And a report claims they have their sights set on three other blockbuster signings to follow.

As for Nketiah, he will hope the deal is the start of big things for him at Arsenal. He will likely soon have competition for the striker’s jersey, but he knows he has the trust and support of Arteta.

His form at the back end of the season also shows what the striker is about. Now engrained in him is the hard work all top strikers need; a trait drilled into him by Marcelo Bielsa during his loan at Leeds two seasons ago.

Eddie Nketiah rewarded with a new Arsenal contract

Eddie Nketiah will sign a new Arsenal contract this summer despite interest from other clubs

And the taking of the No 14 shirt is another show of faith and confidence. The shirt has proven extremely lucky for Arsenal down the years. If Eddie Nketiah scored half the goals of either Henry or Aubameyang, then he will have certainly proven his worthiness of that new deal.

Meanwhile, Arsenal efforts to sign Youri Tielemans appear over with the Gunners seemingly ending their interest in the Belgian.