Mikel Arteta delighted with Eddie Nketiah’s progress

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Eddie Nketiah following the club’s resounding 5-1 Premier League win over Everton on Sunday.The Gunners graduate had a terrific end to the 2021/22 campaign, scoring five goals from eight league starts.

The big question now is whether his contract can be extended. Nketiah’s current deal expires on June 30, and he has yet to commit to an extension.

When pressed about the striker’s future, Arteta did not emphasise much on the contract, and instead focused on praising his excellent contributions.

Arteta told Arsenal.com: “When you see Eddie train in the way he trains, he doesn’t even need to play, you know that you have a player there that is going to help you and he’s done that. Look at his numbers with the amount of games that he’s played, it’s terrific.”

Our view:

Nketiah was largely out-of-favour at the beginning of the season with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette being the regular strikers.

Aubameyang’s departure in January did not change his fortunes either, and it was not until mid-April when he got his first Premier League start of the campaign.

His brace in the 4-2 win at Chelsea was undoubtedly the turning point for him, and there were no surprises that he kept his place in the XI for the remaining games.

Despite his regular playing time, Nketiah has a big decision to make over his future, considering he may not be the first-choice striker at the start of next season.

It is quite clear that Arteta is looking for a high-profile goalscorer this summer. The club have reportedly failed with a club-record bid for Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

There has also been speculation involving Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, though the lack of Champions League football could see him move elsewhere.

Arsenal may ideally want two strikers in the upcoming transfer window, but it could be lowered to one if Nketiah commits to a new long-term contract.

It remains to be seen whether he is prepared to stay and fight for his opportunity as he may not have a guaranteed starting spot up front next term.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

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