A pundit has told Arsenal how much it could cost them to replace Eddie Nketiah, should the striker be allowed to leave this summer.
With his contract running down, reports are linking Nketiah with a transfer away from the Emirates. West Ham and Crystal Palace are keeping tabs on the situation.
They both believe they can snatch the 22-year-old from Arsenal with the offer of a guaranteed first-team spot. Plus, he wouldn’t need to leave London by joining either club.
But Nketiah has impressed Mikel Arteta, as well as Arsenal chiefs, with his solid end to the Premier League campaign. The centre-forward scored five times in his last seven outings.
As such, the Gunners have given Nketiah the chance to stay in north London by offering him fresh terms. And according to David Ornstein, he appears set to sign the new deal.
This would save Arsenal some serious money, according to former Leeds and Middlesbrough player Noel Whelan.
During an interview with Football Insider, the pundit said: “I think there’s enough to be seen there of a different striker. I still believe they need another striker as well as Nketiah.
“But I do think we’ve seen enough of him to see he can do a job in the Arsenal side. He probably will be used a lot more. I think he’s probably twisted the arm of Arteta with those performances at the end of the season.
Whelan reckons Arsenal may regret Eddie Nketiah exit
“Is it easy to let a goalscorer, a natural goalscorer, like Nketiah go? It’s not. You might look back and think: ‘Did I make the right decision there?’
“Instead of going out and spending £40million or £30m on another striker on top of another striker, you might have that different player that you need. That striker to go and win you football matches when it’s 0-0 or get back in a game.
“Eddie’s shown he’s adapting, he can play in that style and play with the players that they’ve already got. So yes, to me, I think he’s done enough to deserve a contract.”
It may cost Arsenal even more than £40m to land Nketiah’s replacement, if he did end up leaving.
They like the look of Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tammy Abraham of Roma. But both English stars would cost in excess of £50m as their current clubs rely on them heavily.
Due to this, Arsenal should make sure to resolve Nketiah’s future as a priority. Then they can decide if they want to stick with him or, if they have the finances, pursue a top-quality goalscorer.
Meanwhile, Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport have provided an update on Arsenal’s pursuit of Aaron Hickey.