West Ham are reportedly leading the race to sign 22-year-old Arsenal star Eddie Nketiah upon the expiry of his contract this summer.
Nketiah and Arsenal have been in a contract stand-off for some time now and the chance of a new deal is slimming.
The 22-year-old has hit a purple patch of form lately. His goals have greatly increased Arsenal’s hopes of landing in a top four spot at the end of the season.
The striker has scored four goals in his last four games and has been the stand-out player in Mikel Arteta’s team in recent weeks.
Nketiah’s contract, however, runs out this summer and the striker looks set to leave the north London club.
The article notes the Hammers are poised to take advantage of the contract impasse and ‘will move‘ for Nketiah if there is no resolution.
After the striker’s brace against Leeds United on Sunday, the Daily Mail report that Arteta has made a plea to Nketiah. He wants the striker to stay and admitted he ‘absolutely adores him.’
Contract talks have been held twice now with Nketiah’s agents and another round of negotiations are set to take place.
The key problem throughout the talks has been the amount of playtime Nketiah will receive. The Gunners are expected to sign at least one new major-name striker this summer, with a Gabriel Jesus deal now ramping up.
Nketiah’s other potential suitors
The striker has played in London throughout the majority of his youth and senior career. The striker did, however, make a move from Chelsea to Arsenal where he made his first senior appearance.
The 22-year-old has had one loan move when he joined Leeds during their promotion season.
One of Nketiah’s potential destinations is Crystal Palace. Vieira’s team are desperate for another goal scorer after signings Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Phillipe Mateta haven’t worked as well as they’d hoped. Indeed, Wilfried Zaha has been deployed as a false nine on occasion late this 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.
Palace’s top goal scorer is still Zaha who remains the stand-out player in their team.
Signing a player with Nketiah’s goal-scoring prowess would be extremely beneficial for Palace. It would take the pressure off of Zaha’s shoulders to be both chief creator and scorer at the same time.
There are also a host of German teams that are circling around the signing of Nketiah.
How Nketiah would suit West Ham
West Ham commonly deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation with Michail Antonio spearheading their attack.
They do, however, only have one recognised centre-forward. Their striking department is in dire need of back-ups, with the Daily Mail report noting that David Moyes was interested in both Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez in the January transfer window.
Nketiah, however, would be a bargain addition to challenge Antonio for the starting spot.
The striker commonly plays as a number nine and has even replaced Alexandre Lacazette in Arsenal’s starting eleven.
The 22-year-old would be able to challenge Antonio and potentially prevent him from succumbing to injuries due to over-use. What’s more, West Ham are on course to qualify for Europe again. That means there’ll be plenty of opportunities to give both strikers minutes even if only one plays at a time.
Nketiah would be a solid signing for the Hammers and would benefit Moyes’ team much more than he would hinder.