Palace enter picture for Arsenal misfit with eyes on Emirates exit door


Crystal Palace have joined the list of clubs interested in signing wantaway Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, according to a reliable transfer source.

The 22-year-old has struggled to secure meaningful game time with the Gunners and may be tempted by a move. He made only four Premier League starts among 17 appearances in 2020-2021 and scored two top-flight goals. The former England Under-21 ace has played just 65 times for the north Londoners over four seasons, scoring 13 goals.

He spent the 2019-2020 campaign on loan with Leeds United and struggled under manager Marcelo Bielsa. But a report last week suggested the Whites had been ‘offered’ the forward on a permanent basis.

The talented youngster did see plenty of Europa League action for Arsenal, making eight appearances in Europe’s second-tier competition. But it is regular playing time he craves and that is unlikely to come at the Emirates.

It was reported by The Athletic last week that Arsenal have offered him a new deal. He has 12 months to run on his current contract and is said to have rejected the terms.

That may well open the door for a summer switch and he will not be short of suitors. Renowned transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has taken to Twitter to reveal just who is stalking the youngster.

The Italian claims Bayer Leverkusen have been ‘pushing for months’ to secure his signature. West Ham United and Watford are also said to hold an interest but Palace are the new kids on the block.

The Eagles are still without a manager but off-season recruitment plans are well under way. They are said to have eyes on Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey while Chelsea youngster Conor Gallagher is a long-term target.

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It remains to be seen in which direction the new manger will go but Nketiah is a player full of potential.

Nketiah needs regular run-out to prove his worth

The former Chelsea youth star failed to play the full 90 minutes in any league match last term. Mikel Arteta used him 17 times but he totalled only 413 minutes of action throughout the campaign.

In truth, it is still unclear exactly what he can do and he needs to be given a run of 10 – 15 games to show his true colours. Wilfried Zaha’s expected departure from south London would certainly help.

Wilfried Zaha, Christian Pulisic July 2020

But it will all depend on the new man at the helm and if he fancies a punt on the man from Lewisham.

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