Premier League • England

Star ‘has no future’ at Arsenal after embarrassing Arteta decision, as replacement search ramps up

Jakub Kiwior, Eddie Nkietiah and Oleksandr Zinchenko of Arsenal

One Arsenal man has been told he must find a new club at some point in 2024, with Mikel Arteta preferring to use an underperforming player instead and the club trying to land a top-class star in his position.

Arsenal are next in action on January 20, when they host fellow London side Crystal Palace at the Emirates. The Gunners will be hoping to get back to winning ways after having lost three out of their last four games in all competitions.

That includes the disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, which saw Arteta’s side get knocked out of the FA Cup.

The likes of Kai Havertz, Reiss Nelson and Martin Odegaard missed chances for Arsenal, and they were eventually punished late on as Liverpool’s threat grew.

Jurgen Klopp’s men took the lead in the 80th minute when Jakub Kiwior inadvertently sent a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick past Aaron Ramsdale and into his own net.

And Liverpool made sure of their spot in the next round deep into stoppage time, as Luis Diaz fired into the top corner with a venomous right-footed effort.

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With usual striker Gabriel Jesus out through injury, Arteta opted to start Havertz up front instead of Eddie Nketiah. However, that decision did not work out, and Havertz was ultimately given just a 4/10 rating by some observers.

Not only is Nketiah failing to start ahead of the German attacking midfielder, but his place is also coming under threat amid Arsenal’s search for a new centre-forward. After it emerged that Brentford would be keeping Ivan Toney, Arsenal have since begun pursuing Newcastle United ace Alexander Isak and Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton.

Eddie Nketiah ‘can’t stay at Arsenal any longer’

Former Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers star Chris Sutton thinks Nketiah has to leave Arsenal in order to improve, as he is not getting the right treatment from Arteta.

“I have to say, I have an opinion on Kai Havertz: if I’m Eddie Nketiah, I’m wondering how I’m benched and I don’t have a future at Arsenal if I’m not starting as a central striker,” the pundit said on the It’s All Kicking Off podcast.

“He’s desperate, I get that, but what message does that send to Nketiah if Havertz is at number nine – what is Nketiah thinking?

“If I’m Nketiah I’m thinking I can’t stay at Arsenal any longer, if you play a guy who has been affected and has shackles on. Come on, he has no future at Arsenal.”

Crystal Palace have been linked with the 24-year-old on several occasions in the past, and they recently made another approach to Arsenal for him. Gunners sporting director Edu has rejected all advances so far, though that could change if Nketiah signals his desire to move on.

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