Eddie Nketiah has reminded that he is hoping for regular gametime despite his love for Arsenal as the end of his contract – and therefore critical future talks – approaches.
By the start of July, Nketiah may no longer be an Arsenal player. He is out of contract with them at the end of the season and may be inclined to leave. With just one Premier League start to his name this season, it’s easy to see why.
England’s record goalscorer at under-21 level, the striker has not been able to progress appropriately in the club game. Turning 23 years old next month, he is at a critical point in his career.
It looks more likely that Nketiah will leave Arsenal than stay, despite being with them since 2015. Now, he has alluded to the decision he faces in a new interview.
From his comments, it can clearly be inferred that he is considering his future. That said, he is still focusing on Arsenal for now.
Nketiah told the Beautiful Game Podcast: “There have been offers of a new contract but at the moment my aim is to play football and play regularly. That’s my ambition and that’s what I hope to do. But at the same time I’m at Arsenal; I love Arsenal.
“I’m just trying to focus on the season until May and make sure I finish that in a good way and then sit down and see what I think is the best opportunity to allow me to take those steps and develop.
“I feel like I’m at the stage where I’ve signed a contract for five years when I was 18 and in that five years, how many starts have I had here? I went on loan for six months and been here for the rest. And I have probably started about 30 games maybe in all competitions.
“I see players my age that I’ve played with and they kick on and it’s like, ‘what’s the difference between someone I was playing with at England Under-21s?’
Nketiah: ‘I obviously need to consider getting more minutes’
“I was the captain and they’re doing more. It’s not even a thing of looking at them and hating them; I’m happy for them. But how did they get to the point where they are feeling confident and it’s through playing those games and having that experience.
“For me to take the next step and get to where I think I can get to I obviously need to consider getting more minutes.”
Across his Arsenal career so far, Nketiah has managed a total of 85 appearances. From those, he has scored 18 goals.
A previous attempt to build up gametime elsewhere, on loan with Leeds United, did not go to plan. When in the Championship, he played 19 times and scored five goals.
However, his stint at Elland Road was interrupted due to a lack of starts. He will therefore have to choose his next club carefully.