Mikel Arteta reviews Arsenal's win against West Ham
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Arsenal are reportedly set to make one final effort to keep Eddie Nketiah at the club beyond this season. However, the club’s interest in Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus could scupper their chances of doing so.
Nketiah is out of contract at Arsenal at the end of this season. He has turned down numerous offers of a renewal, often quoting a lack of game time for his reasoning.
Up until a month ago, the academy graduate had not started a Premier League match this term. However, he has now started four in a row in the top flight.
Nketiah has netted two goals in that time, in the 4-2 win at Chelsea, and also impressed against both Manchester United and West Ham. He has overtaken Alexandre Lacazette as the first-choice striker for Mikel Arteta and the Mail claims Arsenal will make a last-ditch attempt to keep him.
With Lacazette also out of contract in the summer and set to leave on a free transfer, Arteta will look to sign at least once striker in the close season. City star Jesus is one of their top targets and he could leave, with his deal at the Etihad expiring in 2023.
Since Arsenal’s interest in Jesus surfaced, the Brazilian has scored six goals in three matches. But the Gunners are still hopeful of securing the 25-year-old.
Nketiah knows the arrival of Jesus, or another striker, is likely to limit his chances of regular game time again. He will make a decision over his future at the end of the season.
The same report claims there are a host of clubs interested in Nketiah. Teams in Germany and France are keen as well as a number in England, including Crystal Palace.
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Before his four consecutive starts, Nketiah appeared on the Beautiful Game Podcast in April to outline his ambitions to play more regularly and frustration at this season. He said: “Obviously at the moment I’d say my stance is the same, I want to play games.
“Obviously I’ve not started a game in the Premier League this season [before Southampton], which I’m not here complaining about, but for me I think I’m at the level I can play and could potentially get that opportunity elsewhere. So that’s where I’m thinking about it.
“Obviously you’re free to speak to clubs now but I try to leave my family and agency to do those sorts of things. My stance is I will just be honest and clear – my aim is to play football.”
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