Leeds United are reportedly sizing up a loan move for Eddie Nketiah, according to the BBC’s David Ornstein.
There is also significant interest in Nketiah from abroad as well as domestic clubs, including Bristol City.
The deal would be make or break for the talented youth international, who has found himself at a cross-roads in his Arsenal career.
Nketiah has just turned 20 and is still awaiting his 1st Premier League start for Arsenal.
The problem Nketiah has faced is in the last 12 months is that he is too good for the U23 league, but has some excellent strikers ahead of him.
He has had to sit patiently behind Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck to get his chance. The expectation was that with Welbeck leaving on a free at the end of last season, Nketiah will move up to 3rd choice striker.
Nketiah needs game time to develop.
With the likes of Tyreece John-Jules (18), Folarin Balogun (18) & Gabriel Martinelli (18) coming up behind, Arsenal will soon have to make a decision whether to continue investing in Nketiah’s development, or move him on in favour of those a couple of years younger.
It is a similar situation to what Chuba Akpom found himself – Arsenal eventually decided to move him on in favour of promoting Nketiah to the 1st team.
Like Akpom, a loan deal will give Nketiah the game time he needs to prove himself. A deal will make or break him.
If Nketiah does exceptional, he will return to Arsenal and be prepped be Lacazette’s long term back up (taking into account next summer Aubameyang will have just 1 year left on his contract). If he only does OK, Arsenal will probably look to move him on.
Liverpool have done well recently moving on the likes of Dominic Solanke, Kevin Stewart, Jerome Sinclair and Jordon Ibe. Those 4 raised nearly £46million after the Champions League winners decided that they did not have the quality for the highest level.
Next summer, Arsenal could well do similar with Nketiah if he has an average loan spell.
Arsenal would get a decent fee for Nketiah (£15m+) from a low end Premier League or top end Championship club.
The focus would then move on to giving game time to those who are 2 years younger.
Nketiah needs the game time, and he will have to take his chances if he wants to prove he has a long term future at Arsenal.
Less than 25 left…