Arsenal want any new deal for Eddie Nketiah to run for three seasons, but the striker still has one reservation, according to one reporter.
Nketiah is back in the news after returning to the scoresheet for Arsenal on Tuesday. He marked his third appearance of the season with a goal in their win over his former club Leeds United in the Carabao Cup.
It served as a timely reminder of his potential and why Arsenal may be running a risk if they let his contract run down. But at the age of 22, he is hungry for more opportunities to prevent his promising career from stagnating.
Out of contract at the end of the season, Nketiah is facing a crossroads in his career. He has reportedly attracted interest from the likes of Aston Villa, Brentford and Leeds themselves, who would be willing to give him a second chance after a quiet loan spell in the 2019-20 season.
But Arsenal are still trying to convince him to stay, despite the lack of gametime Mikel Arteta has given him so far this term.
According to journalist Ekrem Konur, Arsenal want to give Nketiah a new, three-year deal, showing their faith in him for the future.
However, the England under-21 record scorer is “unhappy” at the club due to his lack of gametime. The London-born forward, who debuted in 2017, has 67 appearances to his name for the club overall.
Therefore, he will “only” sign a new deal if there is a feeling he will be given a more prominent role.
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That remains possible over time, especially with Alexandre Lacazette also out of contract in the summer. The Frenchman seems even less likely to renew due to his age, higher wages and personal desire to play elsewhere.
Arsenal continue to be linked with other options up front, but Nketiah could make his own case if Arteta shows him more faith.
For now, though, the club’s efforts to keep him are hitting hurdles.
Arteta aims to keep Nketiah
Arteta remains hopeful of convincing Nketiah to pledge his future to Arsenal.
“We had a situation in the summer that we tried to resolve and we couldn’t either way,” the manager said after the Leeds game. “That’s the contract situation.
“It’s more and more common in football with where we are coming from with COVID and a lot of the issues that we have to resolve.
“I have full belief that he’s going to be a top, top player and hopefully at Arsenal.
“I’m so happy to have him in the team. He’s our player and I consider him and regard him really highly. From my side I want him to stay.”