Arsenal set to suffer huge loss from Eddie Nketiah in transfer market


Arsenal are set to suffer a huge loss from Eddie Nketiah as the club’s transfer failures will see the ever-improving striker leave for free at the end of the season. (Photo by Julian Finney / Getty Images)

Arsenal have made a string of transfer market mistakes dating back years before Mikel Arteta and Unai Emery patrolled the sidelines.

Mistakes aren’t just for signings, though the £ 72million spent on Nicolas Pepe manages to look more and more careless by the minute, with the cause of these failures running deep with many spiraling roots.

An inferiority complex that the club had on selling players played its part. Whether they fear fan reaction or are too reluctant to throw in the proverbial towel on talent, presentable sales opportunities have passed without even thinking of being accepted.

One of the more notable cases is Eddie Nketiah, with Arsenal again falling victim to their own shortcomings.

Arsenal set to suffer huge loss from Eddie Nketiah as club transfer failures will see the ever-improving striker leave for free at the end of the season

Opportunities have happened for the club to cash Nketiah, or at least loan him. A decision was made to trust Folarin Balogun, someone whose stock had grown exponentially over the past 12 months, at a time when Nketiah’s had taken the opposite direction.

As the former Cobham youngster failed to secure a starting spot ahead of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the fleeting substitute appearances and resulting performances were never going to match his ambitions or to those of Arsenal.

Having failed to secure a permanent move this summer – the reasons for this uncertain but unlikely to be due to a single game – Nketiah has been left in an unfortunate vacuum: he is not a first-team participant and it does not take Balogun minutes in the Under 23s.

Not wanting to sign new terms as the last year of his contract comes to an end, the striker has to feed off the remains of the Carabao Cup. But he filled his stomach with it. Not sparkling at all, Nketiah showed further signs of progress on Tuesday.

With two goals in two starts against AFC Wimbledon and Leeds, the 22-year-old has not only found the back of the net, he has also found a fuller and more complete game. One-dimensional in its game, this fox in the box nature was developed alongside a more effective heist game, bursting into channels, and refining the connection to a touch.

There are more strings to his bow. Improving these aspects with virtually no competitive action will attract and encourage a European and UK market that is still looking for targets. It’s now 15 in 67 appearances for Arsenal, which is a laudable record considering the lion’s share of those have been replacement outings.

The clubs will see what improvements he brings and the contenders will line up. Can Arsenal prevent this? Can they keep it? And, perhaps more importantly, should they keep it?

Continued on the next page …

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