What Should Arsenal Do in Contract Standoff With Forward?

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /

Arsenal have plenty of decisions to make when the summer transfer window opens. One of those decisions: do they entertain Eddie Nketiah and his contract stubbornness?

Long have the London club struggled to see eye-to-eye with one of their rising stars and a player regarded highly by Mikel Arteta. Since last season, before a transfer to Crystal Palace fell through, Eddie Nketiah began his contract deadlock with Arsenal.

Move on a season with one game left to play and nothing has really changed. Last month the Athletic reported that the forward was not prepared to go into fresh talks with the club until the end of the season, with Nketiah leaning more and more towards an exit when he reaches the end of his deal.

"There have been offers of a new contract but at the moment my aim is to play football and play regularly. That’s my ambition and that’s what I hope to do but at the same time I’m at Arsenal, I love Arsenal.I’m just trying to focus on the season until May and make sure I finish that in a good way and then sit down and see what I think is the best opportunity to allow me to take those steps and develop(Via: theathletic.com)"

Understandably Limited Game Time Has Affected His Decision Making

The 22-year-old wants to clock more time on the pitch and despite losing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona in the winter window, he has not seen his playing minutes increase drastically.

Since the report came out in April the Englishman has made 10 appearances in Arsenal’s last 10 outings; seven of them were starts. He has scored four goals during this period and nine for the season. That’s a decent return for a player with 12 starts for the entire campaign.

So you can understand why Arteta wants to keep him and you can see why Nketiah could want to leave North London. If he can continue to get the nod ahead of others, he will stay put.

So Should Arsenal Entertain His Situation?

No player is bigger than the club. If he wanted to be at the Emirates he would have signed a while back with minimal resistance. The only hindering factor in just letting go of him: he is talented and certainly has the tools to be a top striker in the Premier League.

The fight to be the number one shooter for the Gunners is up for grabs with Alexandre Lacazette almost out the door and Aubameyang already scoring for his new club. But standing in his way of claiming the spot without debate, the Gunners are busy trying to tie up business for other attacking options.

A Gabriel Jesus bid is being readied and a deal is in place with Sao Paulo for winger Marquinhos. Both players must prove themselves if they do make the switch to North London, so it is really anybody’s spot.

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One believes they should not entertain him and turn their attention to young Premier League proven talent. Arsenal are quite thin of quality first-team forwards and must act in the market. Searching for an extra forward and letting go of Nketiah doesn’t sound like a bad idea.