Folarin Balogun or Eddie Nketiah?
Looking likely to be Nketiah who keeps his place, West Ham interest opens up a whole new can of worms. Could Balogun be persuaded to stay if Nketiah departs? Arteta has repeatedly stressed his desire to keep hold of the former, so keen eyes coming from the east may be precisely what he’s after.
£20m seems like a fair(ish) fee – although Arsenal apparently want £30m – for someone of his age with a year and a half left on his deal, although in the current market, English talent with his international record could doubtlessly raise even more. Any funding at this point would be most welcome to tie down the creative targets the club seek, although a loan move could interest West Ham, Arsenal and Nketiah.
On my part, I think it is far too early to give up on Nketiah. Call it blind faith, but with the right wingers feeding him, he will score goals. Plenty of them. If the service from wide areas is right, as we’ve seen during FA Cup matches and in Europe, the 21-year-old has some of the smartest movement in the penalty box. Perhaps above strikers at the club.
Pull my arm and £25+ is money not to be scoffed at, not least since it’s pure profit. Balogun could be Chuba Akpom. He could be Serge Gnabry. Who knows?
Given the bare bones left to work behind the scenes at Arsenal, the scale of the job at hand is terrifying. Every day more important decisions are set before the recruitment department. You don’t envy them.
While everyone frets over creativity in midfield, those in front are also perched atop the to-do list.