West Ham striker search moves to Arsenal as deal makes target exit likely

Neil Foster
Eddie Nketiah TEAMtalk

West Ham United are reportedly tracking Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah with a view to making a summer swoop for the young striker.

The Hammers are in the market for a new forward this summer after Sebastien Halle left mid season. The Ivory Coast international moved to Ajax, leaving David Moyes with a void to fill up front. The Scot brought in Jesse Lingard from Manchester United and results have been spectacular.

The 28-year-old has directly contributed to 12 goals in nine games, helping the East End outfit to fourth in the table. But it is thought that Moyes will still look to bring in an out-and-out hitman in the off-season.

Many players have been linked with the London Stadium and the latest is one kicking his heels at the Emirates. Nketiah, 21, has made just three Premier League starts among 15 appearances and been on the bench on 20 occasions.

The Londoner has played regularly in the Europa League and has 25 appearances in all competitions. But he is clearly unhappy with the situation.

After being selected to captain the England Under-21s in March, he opened up on life at Arsenal.

“It’s been a difficult last month or so, I haven’t played as much as I would have liked,” he said. “I have been working hard and being dedicated which adds to the frustration but I have a great opportunity in front of me.”

According to the Evening Standard, West Ham might move to end his frustration this summer. They were keen to sign him in January but the north Londoners refused to sanction a deal.

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Balogun deal to help Hammers push for Nketiah

Young striker Folarin Balogun is close to committing his future to Arsenal. The 19-year-old New York-born ace is said to have agreed a new deal.

That would seemingly further block Nketiah’s path to the senior side and hasten his exit. He has just a year left on his current deal.

That means Mikel Arteta must make a decision or risk losing him for nothing in 2022. He spent the 2019-2020 campaign on loan with Leeds United.

Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa was said to be impressed, calling him a “young, important player in English football”.

Nketiah responded by scoring five goals from 25 outings in all competitions for the Elland Road club. He was recalled in January 2020 and became a regular in the Arsenal side, earning an FA Cup winner’s medal.

But it is regular league football that he craves and West Ham may well be able to oblige.

READ MORE: West Ham surge ahead of Arsenal for striker after behind the scenes work