The England Under-21 goal scoring record holder has Arsenal are caught between a rock and a hard place. Eddie Nketiah has made numerous appearances throughout the latter half of last season and the beginning stretch of this year, mainly to fill in for senior strikers when their form was poor, they were suspended, or dealing with injury. He scored two goals in 13 appearances in 2019/20, and has one goal in 12 appearances this season.
While his instinct around the net is not in question, his shot creation and movement are. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette playing regular minutes again, Nketiah has found himself glued to the bench. Should Arsenal find themselves in a situation without a striker again, Nketiah will come in handy, though.
But, is that all he can bring to the table? Constant ten-minute spells off the bench?
A proper (*cough* Leeds *cough*) loan spell might serve him well, but the next man up is someone who Arsenal have been high on for a long time. Maybe now is the time to cash in on the young, now more experienced Premier League striker rather than wait to see if he pans out.
As mentioned earlier, Folarin Balogun is hot on Nketiah’s trail to be Arsenal’s future No. 9. The 19-year-old is at the top of the pecking order of Arsenal’s next generation. He has proven himself as a serial goal scorer for Arsenal’s youth sides, and is awaiting a new contract from the club. Sadly, the clock is ticking on that and the latest developments hint towards a summer exit.
He is inundated with potential suitors. It’s little surprise. Liverpool are rumoured to be interested – acting as one of around 15 in total(!) – so Arsenal may be forced to make a decision sooner rather than later whether to bet on Balogun.
In just 65 total minutes of Europa League play, the striker has two goals and an assist, adding to his ten goals and three assists in his 15 games for the Under-21s last season. Balogun would definitely start seeing first team action if Nketiah were to go elsewhere, but he is still unproven in major competitions.
Arsenal may sadly not have a decision to make in that department anymore.