Liverpool have been advised not to waste their time signing Eddie Nketiah as the Arsenal striker is not good enough to displace any of their five current attacking options.
The Gunners forward becomes a free agent in a matter of weeks, his Arsenal deal expiring on June 30. That makes the former Leeds loanee an attractive option for a number of clubs. Indeed, the likes of Crystal Palace, Brighton and West Ham are all among his suitors.
However, earlier this week, Liverpool were reportedly considering an approach of their own. The Reds are preparing to wave goodbye to Divock Origi, with Jurgen Klopp paying the Belgian an emotional tribute.
Liverpool also have long-term doubts over the future of Roberto Firmino, while Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are still to sign new deals.
However, Arsenal themselves are making their own moves to tie down Nketiah. The record England U21 goalscorer has displaced Alexandre Lacazette as their leading frontman in the closing weeks of the season.
As such, the Gunners are looking to tie him down to a new deal. That has left Nketiah with a bit of a dilemma over his next move.
Clearly a transfer to Liverpool would be an attractive proposition. However, Steve McManaman reckons a move there is not in Liverpool’s best interests.
He claims Nketiah is nowhere near good enough for Klopp’s side and is adamant that is a transfer that won’t happen.
Liverpool transfer ruled out
“I don’t think he’s good enough for Liverpool, to be honest,” McManaman told horseracing.net. “I like Eddie Nketiah, but he’s not going to dismantle any of that Liverpool front five and the club has an academy full of centre forwards, so I can’t see this move happening.
“Mikel Arteta has selected him a lot recently, but it wasn’t too long ago that he didn’t seem interested in him.
“He just has to work hard and keep improving. [Alexandre] Lacazette may leave on a free transfer this summer, so there could be space for him to continue with Arsenal.
“But he needs to see whether his manager is planning on bringing in two or three forwards. If he’s happy there, though and he’s playing there, then he should stay at Arsenal.”
Even if Nketiah does commit his future to Arsenal, the Gunners are looking at a number of other options. One of those is Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, though his asking price appears to have put them off.
Eddie Nketiah wise to bide time over next move
It’s taken some time for his career to truly kick off, but Nketiah finally finds himself a man in demand.
Given the clubs who are in for him this summer, the striker probably would be wise in biding his time before making his next move.
McManaman, though, appears to be correct: a move to Liverpool looks unlikely to come off. He would rarely feature in that side and, even playing as a central striker, his chances would be limited. The Reds have been using Mane through the middle of late, while that’s a position Firmino and Diogo Jota can also play in.
Truth be told, the striker probably needs to sit down and have an honest chat with Arteta. And the Gunners boss needs to tell him straight where he figures in his plans for next season.
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.
If Arsenal are honest, they are probably going to sign another striker this summer. That may leave Nketiah kicking his heels once again, but he will need to weigh up where his first-team prospects are best served.
For example, he could move across London to West Ham and know he would probably get more chances.
Either way, he should not hurry a decision and can probably afford to wait a few weeks once the season is over.