EDDIE NKETIAH: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR HIM?
Eddie Nketiah burst into the scene with that brace in the League Cup game against Norwich a couple of seasons ago. He scored goals for the Arsenal Reserves with such regularity and it was a case of sooner, than later for the fans to get a glimpse of his ability as a predator in front of goal.
He was odds on to make a loan move to German outfit, Augsburg, but Danny Welbeck’s unfortunate long term injury made the club reverse their decision to send him out on loan, so that he could serve as a back up forward. Fast forward to the final Premier League game of last season, where he came on as a sub and scored his first goal in the competition, much to the delight of the Arsenal faithful.
Eddie Nketiah put up a composed performance, albeit a cameo and the fans want him to get that much deserved loan spell so that his we could monitor his progress. At the end of that campaign, Bristol City, Augsburg and Charlton Athletic declared their intentions in making a loan offer for Nketiah, but the confident forward expressed his desire to remain in the club and fight for his place in the first team against the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette,
“My ideal scenario is to play here, I want to play here next season but we have to see how that goes. I am confident enough in my ability that I am good enough to play here so I have just got to work hard and show the manager that I can. My aim is to play for Arsenal, that is my goal and my aim since I was a kid.”
“It is great to have two of the best strikers in the world around you and learn from them every day. I’m just progressing, trying to catch them and make the gap smaller and smaller.”
There was some excitement and fanfare when Nketiah joined Leeds United, the team that missed out on promotion last season, and there was some additional buzz when he decided to wear #14 in honor of his footballing idol, Thierry Henry.
August was a month to remember for Eddie Nketiah, as he scored three goals in his first four games for the club despite playing a handful of minutes. Even with this rich vein of form, the Leeds manager, Marcelo Bielsa, still favored Patrick Bamford, but it did not matter to Eddie as he scored his fourth goal for the club in just six appearances.
These goals in August did not faze Bielsa, as Eddie Nketiah continued to feature as a fringe player with 76 minutes from a possible 270 in September 2019 and 130 minutes from a possible 360 in October 2019. He missed out on a lengthy injury layoff in November and he amassed 178 minutes from a possible 450 in December 2019. These numbers are not pleasant for a lad that deserves to play consistent football with the likes of Charlton or Bristol City, if they had him in their ranks.
After what I would regard as a torrid time with Leeds, Arsenal pulled the plug on his loan spell there and Mikel Arteta confirmed that he will have meetings with the Arsenal hierarchy on the next line of action for the striker. The forward took to Twitter to send his appreciation to the club, which showed some class.
So what is next for this young forward? I would say another loan move to a club that he will play consistent football because the potential is there, but these gems like Eddie Nketiah flourish under the right conditions.
Arsenal will not offer him that platform at the moment, so one would hope that Raul Sanllehi, Edu Gaspar and Ben Knapper would find the appropriate brooding ground for Nketiah.
During pre-season we witnessed a glimpse of his quality, and his loan spell, albeit disappointing, showed his capabilities even in an environment he did not get the right opportunity to thrive well.
I wish Eddie Nketiah the best in his future endeavors, and I am hopeful he would find a decent lower division outfit were he would feature on a regular basis and do what he does best – score goals.
Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily.
Visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page.
Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List