Tag Archives: eddie nketiah

Stop pining for those that left – Support those that stayed

This morning Arsenal are linked with Donyell Malen following his fantastic start to the season in Holland.

The 20-year-old Dutch International has been in blistering form with 9 goals already this season in all competition. PSV Eidenhoven have reportedly put a £50m price tag on him following interest for Liverpool.

His bright start to the season and headline grabbing price tag has led to the usual over reaction from Arsenal fans.

“Why did we let him go?” They have cried. “Another mistake by Wenger” they moaned.

Malen left Arsenal back in 2017. Joining PSV for less than £1million.

The then 18-year-old engineered a move out of the club under the guidance of his agent – Mino Raiola.

Many Arsenal fans who saw him play were disappointed that he left, as he was clearly a talent. But they also understood the situation.

Here was a player who had come to Arsenal at 16-years-old from Ajax. Within 2 years of being at the club refused to sign a new contract and decided to move back to his native Holland to find 1st team football.

It actually took him a season to find that 1sr team football as he spent a year at Jong PSV – the reserve team of PSV Eidenhoven.

He was a talent within Arsenal’s youth team, but he was by no means the brightest star.

Capable of playing across the front 3, Malen was in direct competition with the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson and Stephy Mavididi.

Malen often found himself playing 2nd fiddle to those 3 players. Usually only playing within his age group when they moved up a group or were involved in the senior team.

Only Mavididi – who has since joined Juventus – was older than Malen.

Back in 2017, Malen was down the pecking order for the 1st team action he demanded.

2016/17 none of Nelson, Mavididi or Nketiah got any senior game time as Chris Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Chuba Akpom were the youngsters given the chances in the cup games.

So Arsenal had a talented young player; who was not more talented than players the same age. Whilst the club did not want him to leave; they also did not stand in his way.

Malen has had a good start to his season. 5 goals in 1 games against Vitesse. Scoring for his country. It has led to many saying Arsenal made a mistake with him.

But then remember he is playing in Holland. Take the top 2 or 3 out of the Dutch league and is what’s left much better than the Championship? Or even League 1?

Last season Nelson – who is younger than Malen remember – had a good season on loan in the Bundesliga. What would he have done if he was on loan in the Dutch league? 20+ goals?

And then we have Nketiah – who is younger than Malen remember. He is currently on loan to Leeds who are topping the Championship.

Nketiah is at 4 goals in 6 games in all competitions. What would behave achieved if he was in Holland?

Mason Mount spent a season in Holland. He scored 14 goals in 39 games.

The next season Chelsea decided to continue his development by sending him on loan to the Championship. They clearly saw England’s 2nd division as being more competitive than Holland’s top.

Mount scored 11 in 44 for Derby last season. Proof that the Championship is the tougher league.

So we shouldn’t be getting our knickers in a twist of Malen scoring 5 goals against Vitesse. For every Luis Suarez that comes out of the league, you get 2017/18 top scorer Alizera Jahanbakhsh who failed to score a league goal for Brighton in 2018/19.

Last season the joint top scorers in Holland were Luuk de Jong (0 goals in 12 games for Newcastle) and Dusan Tadic (ex-Southampton). Robin Van Persie and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were joint 6th top scorers with 16 goals each.

We should be supporting the likes of Nketiah and Nelson; rather than pining for Malen.

Both Nketiah and Nelson are home grown lads who want to be at the club. They want to pull on the red and white of Arsenal.

Instead of supporting these lads, I see fans criticising them.

Following the victory over Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday; Nelson came in for a lot of criticism. “Not good enough”, “Saka is better”, “Emery doesn’t fancy him”. Nelson didn’t even play!

Malen may well become a world beater. He also may well end up at someone like Norwich bouncing between the Premier League and Championship.

We as fans have a habit of criticising our own whilst looking envious at others.

The likes of Nelson and Nketiah, Saka, Willock and Smith Rowe should be getting the support they deserve.

I would rather us continue developing those that we have rather than demand the club sign a player who has already left us once.

Back the boys at the club.


Eddie scores again

With 13 minutes to go and the score at 0-0, Leeds manger Marcelo Bielsa beckoned over his young striker on loan from Arsenal.

“Go win us the match Eddie” he probably said. 3 minutes later he did that scoring the only goal against Brentford to send Leeds top of the league.

That made it 2 from 2 for the England U21 international, who scored on his debut against Salford City in the EFL Cup.

This loan move to Leeds is going to be important for his development.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him, Nketiah would not have seen much game time at The Arsenal had he stayed this year.

His only starts would have been in the EFL Cup and Europa League. He would not have even been guaranteed a place on the bench in Premier League games.

Arsenal reportedly made clubs looking to loan Nketiah do a presentation to the player and club. A lesson learnt following Serge Gnabry’s disastrous move to WBA a few years ago.

At Leeds, Nketiah has found himself behind Patrick Bamford.

Whilst this might be frustrating for Arsenal fans, and Nketiah himself, it will be good for him to have to battle to get into the 1st team.

Bamford scored a brace against Wigan at the weekend and, with 3 goals in 4 league games this season, deserves to be starting ahead of Nketiah.

Competing for a 1st team spot will push Nketiah even more, and I am confident sooner rather than later the 20-year-old will be starting regularly for Leeds.

The Championship is a tough league. From day one you are pretty much playing twice a week. Add in the cups and that is over 50 games a season.

Top end Premier League clubs regularly play 50 games a season, but they have the squads to cope. Down in the Championship sides have to continually shuffle the pack; and that leads to game time.

Nketiah will end up with 30+ starts for Leeds this season across all competition, and will play over 40 games. It would not be a surprise to see him get close to 30 goals in all competitions.

That is important development game time that he would not have got at Arsenal.

Nketiah will return to the club in a year fitter, stronger and hungrier, ready to compete.

Taking into account the age of Aubameyang and Lacazette, he has a future at Arsenal.


Busy day for Arsenal in the transfer market

A lot happened yesterday in the world of Arsenal.

Firstly Arsenal announced in a very brief statement that Laurent Koscielny is leaving to join Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

It feels like it is a real nasty, needless end to a player who has spent 9 years at the club.

The refusal to go on the American tour was out of character and the way he has departed as definitely damaged his legacy.

Instead of getting a big goodbye in front of an Emirates crowd like Aaron Ramsey did, he leaves with a black cloud over his head. Surely it would have been better to remain professional and have played one last time against Lyon in the Emirates club.

We thank Laurent for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for the future just about sums it up.

£5million is a decent chunk of money a player that turns 34 in a month. Arsenal have also chopped off nearly £5million off the age bill. Hopefully this frees up further cash to go for a centre back in these late hours.

We then had the news that Eddie Nketiah may well spend next season on loan, with Leeds being front runners for his signature.

It will be a make or break move for Nketiah who finds his playing time at Arsenal limited behind Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Some fans are moaning that he should get more of a chance at Arsenal, but with two world class strikers ahead of him, minutes will always be tough to come by

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.

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.

The expectation was that with Danny Welbeck leaving on  a free at the end of last season, Nketiah will move up to 3rd choice striker – and maybe even the only striker on the bench if Aubameyang started on the left.

If the plan is to use Aubameyang solely as a striker, then loaning out Nketiah makes sense.

And it may well be Aubameyang and Lacazette competing upfront if Arsenal complete the signing of Philippe Coutinho.

According to stunning reports in France, Arsenal have agreed a deal to take the Brazilian on loan. Wait and see on this one I guess.

Than over night that Danieledaniel Rugani rumour reared its head again; with Arsenal having reportedly agreed terms with the young Italian.

Fans seem split on this one, with many calling him the “Italian Mustafi” and others saying he is a top central defender who just has not had his chance at Juventus.

A deal to bring the 25-year-old to London on a 2 year loan deal before making it permanent in 2021 does make a lot of sense in terms of budgeting.

Still plenty likely to happen over the next few days (and even between the writing of this blog and publishing).

Carl Jenkinson, who following Koscileny’s departure has become Arsenal’s longest serving player, looks set to leave.

Then you have Emile Smith Rowe who a few teams in Germany are clamouring over, and Shkodran Mustafi who no teams in Germany seem to want.

Do not be surprised to see a deadline day central defender come in either.

Yesterday it felt like every hour a different rumour was breaking.

One more blog and it will all be over.


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