England under 21 and Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has been one of a few impressive youngsters on tour for Arsenal this summer, but with Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang ahead of him in the pecking order, what is next for the 20-year-old?
There’s no doubting Eddie’s ability. Whether it’s for England’s youth teams or in his first team appearances for Arsenal, the youngster works extremely hard, utilises his awesome pace and most importantly, scores goals.
But with Arsenal’s strongest area of the squad currently centre forward, should Nketiah be heading out on loan for the upcoming season?
Plenty of clubs have been linked with a loan deal, most heavily of which has been Bristol City, but is Nketiah better heading to a Premier League club?
In reality, for any Premier League club he is unlikely to play every week currently, but at a club like Bristol City, a top half Championship club, Eddie could pick up the vital minutes he needs in order to fulfil his potential.
With Aubameyang now 30 and Lacazette 29, it is very possible that Nketiah has a long term future at the club, should he continue to improve.
Arsenal’s transfer strategy moving forward will always be to look to promote youngsters into the first team where possible, rather than spending millions at every opportunity. Freddie Ljungberg’s promotion to assistant manager is a strategic move that will hopefully see more young players integrated into the first team and Eddie could be one to benefit from this change.
Despite his ability to have an impact now, I do think it would be best for Nketiah’s long term development to go and play regularly at Championship level. Should he perform there, even if he doesn’t make it into the Arsenal first team, he will command a decent transfer fee in the market considering he is young and English.
The club do need to start considering things like this, how best to increase value and attract potential buyers should a player not fit into the clubs first team plans. In recent years, they have failed to maximise value from the likes of Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Donyell Malen.
Should Eddie stick around he would more than likely get many opportunities in the Europa League. Can Arsenal compete on all fronts? Have your say in soccer betting and take a look at whether Arsenal are worth backing in the market.
If Arsenal sign a winger, as expected, then Nketiah’s opportunities will only be reduced further, with Aubameyang more likely to play centrally. I expect the club to wait to sign a new winger and should one arrive, Nketiah will probably be heading to the Championship for next season.
I’m a huge fan of the player and think he can be very important for Arsenal in the future but for his development, I think a loan move this season makes the most sense, equally I would be happy to see him in Arsenal colours next season, but only if he is given sufficient game time.
There are obvious risks in sending a player out of loan. We’ve seen loans with varying amounts of success in the past, and it is vital that the right club for the player is found. Bristol City are amongst those to have been linked and they may be more appropriate than a Premier League club, due to the fact that Eddie is probably more likely to play frequently at that level currently.