Arsenal have presented Eddie Nketiah with their final, take-it-or-leave-it contract offer, a report claims – and there is a growing feeling it could well be a case of him taking it.
There have been many rumours about Nketiah as he has approached the end of his contract. The striker’s terms at the Emirates Stadium are due to expire at the end of next month. It has long looked as if he will be leaving the club on a free transfer.
The likes of West Ham United and Crystal Palace have been on alert in case Nketiah is available on such terms. Either could give him the opportunity to continue his Premier League career in London.
However, Arsenal have never hidden their desire to keep their academy graduate. The problem has been convincing him that he will have enough opportunities.
Soon to be 23 years old, he has looked enviously at other players of his age who have gained more regular minutes for other clubs. But in an upturn in his fortunes, Mikel Arteta trusted him more towards the end of the season.
After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left for Barcelona, it was between Nketiah and fellow contract rebel Alexandre Lacazette to make the starting striker role his own. As the Frenchman struggled for goals, Nketiah took his chance.
Although he had to wait until April for his first Premier League start of the season, Nketiah ended the campaign as Arsenal’s first-choice striker. He eventually totalled eight league starts across the last two months.
In return, he scored five Premier League goals – the same as his tally from the Carabao Cup before Christmas.
Eddie Nketiah targeted by David Moyes and West Ham
West Ham are reportedly in the mix for Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah, who would be available on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Therefore, this season has been the first in which Nketiah has reached the double-figures barrier of goals across all competitions. But there have been fears it will be his last in an Arsenal shirt.
According to the Daily Mail, though, the club have now formalised their final contract offer to the forward.
And in a twist, there is a growing belief he will now sign on the dotted line. The report claims his other suitors, like West Ham and Palace, are starting to think that is the decision he will make.
Indeed, when discussing his future recently, Nketiah reminded that he loves Arsenal as a club. Therefore, staying with them is something that he will have been weighing up.
Nketiah has earned his Arsenal chance
Arsenal continue to be linked with other strikers, such as Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City. But Nketiah could still play his part if he sticks around at the Emirates Stadium.
He will surely have sought assurances over his playing time before committing to any new deal. It should soon become clear whether Arteta has been persuasive enough to the all-time record England under-21s scorer.
If he stays, he will hope to continue the momentum he has built up over the past few weeks. Nketiah is proving he is capable of making an impact for Arsenal at senior level, after all this time.
Therefore, it is clear to see why Arsenal have wanted to keep him. Even if they add another striker, Nketiah should still have earned his chances going forward.
With Lacazette potentially out of the picture, he could compete well for a starting spot again next season, either keeping a new arrival on his toes or leading the line himself.