Crystal Palace are emerging as the most likely landing spot for Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah, a player described as ‘extraordinary’ by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
Though Arteta has praised the young forward, his faith has not translated into minutes on the pitch in the current campaign. Indeed, Nketiah is yet to feature even for a single minute in the Premier League this season.
That has led to speculation about the England Under-21s’ record scorer moving away from The Emirates. Adding further fuel to the fire is the fact Nketiah’s contract expires at the end of the season.
Former Premier League striker and pundit Noel Whelan feels as if Crystal Palace would be the perfect environment for Nketiah to thrive in.
“I think somebody like Crystal Palace. That would probably work well for him,” he told Football Insider.
“He’s a young player. I think Patrick Vieira is liking that style and that energy about a younger side now.”
It is clear that Palace are trying to entice talented young players to the club. Players such as Conor Gallagher, Marc Guehi and Odsonne Edouard are proof of that.
“When you’re thinking about a good, young British player that knows the league already, he’s perfect,” added Whelan. “Vieira is looking to bring players in and transform this Crystal Palace team.
“We see the style of football they’re playing. It’s attractive, it’s good to watch it’s energetic. I can see him fitting in really well there at Crystal Palace, if they decide that is a player they want to have on their books.”
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Indeed, Crystal Palace are on an upward trajectory under Patrick Vieira, having lost only two games this season. That is the same amount as defending champions Manchester City, who Palace beat 2-0 at the weekend.
Vieira has the Eagles playing excellent football, and Nketiah would provide Vieira with a potent option up front. It seems as if the 22-year-old would gain more playing time at Palace, which could only be good for his development.
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Dike scored nine goals in the Championship while on loan with Barnsley last season, and is on the radar of several clubs.
One side who is interested is West Brom. Baggies boss Valerian Ismael worked with Dike at Oakwell last season.
Though given their Premier League status, Crystal Palace would hold the upper hand if they became embroiled in a battle for the forward.