Contract rebel Eddie Nketiah attracts attention close to home

Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates scoring against Leeds United. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates scoring against Leeds United. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) /

Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah is set to be out of contract in the summer with several Premier League clubs thought to be interested in acquiring the forward.

The Mirror reports higher-ups at the North-London club are ‘pulling out all of the stops’ to retain the 22-year-old who joined the club as a schoolboy.

London rivals Crystal Palace and West Ham have been listed among six Premier League clubs vying for his signature, in addition to two ‘major’ European clubs who are also keen.

Following the departure of club captain and fellow striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, Nketiah has seen his responsibility for his boyhood club increase twofold.

Alongside the experienced Alexandre Lacazette, the England U21 all-time top goal-scorer has shared the responsibility of leading the line at the Emirates Stadium.

In the first half of the season, Nketiah saw his involvement limited, failing to score a goal in fourteen appearances in the top flight. This, in conjunction with an indifferent senior career to that point, meant the once hotly tipped prospect looked set to be cast aside.

Similarly to Elneny, who we yesterday reported is set to be rewarded with a new contract, Nketiah’s opportunity for reprisal arose following Arsenal’s dire trifecta of losses last month.

With Lacazette proving blunt in front of goal, manager Mikel Arteta turned to his second-choice striker ahead of a crunch match away to third-place Chelsea.

In what was a coming-of-age performance for the former Leeds United loanee, Nketiah scored a brace as Arsenal steadied their chase for top-four.

Three starts in as many games followed. Nketiah picking up another brace on Sunday at home to his former temporary employers.

“There have talks and offers of a new contract but at the moment my aim is to play football and play regularly,” Nketiah said on the Beautiful Game Podcast earlier in the season as quoted by the Mirror.

"“I feel like I’m at the stage where I’ve signed a contract for five years when I was 18 and in that five years, how many starts have I had here? I went on loan for six months and been here for the rest and I have probably started about 30 games maybe in all competitions.”"

light. More. Arsenal frontrunners for Wijnaldum

John Cross at the Mirror further states Arsenal ‘remain hopeful’ that Nketiah will be tied down to a new deal with negotiations ongoing.