Arsenal will look to Brighton for their third straight Premier League win on Saturday night but it remains to be seen whether Eddie Nketiah will play a role.
The young striker was unable to get a move out of the Emirates during the summer transfer window as the £ 20m price tag for Crystal Palace has been a deterrent so he will remain under Mikel Arteta until at least January.
His contract will expire at the end of the current campaign and the Gunners will likely hesitate to lose the Hale End grad for free.
Nketiah has only appeared once this season, started and scored in the 3-0 win against AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup and is not even in the Premier League squad.
The 22-year-old’s future at Arsenal looks pretty bleak, but he could be saved in January as Aston Villa, Brentford and Leeds are all reportedly interested in signing the striker.
“Eddie Nketiah wants regular first-team football and plans to leave #Arsenal in January,” wrote journalist Ekrem Konur on Twitter.
“#Bretford, #LeedsUnited and #AstonVilla are in the queue [sic] for the young striker. “
A little more than a weak time ago, Arteta showered the striker with praise and praised Nketiah’s work ethic after hitting the net against AFC Wimbledon.
“I’m so proud of this kid,” Arteta told Sky Sports when asked about Nketiah’s display.
“He hasn’t played much, there is a lot of speculation around him. The way he trains, how he behaves, he is always ready to help the team.
“He fully deserves what happens because he trains and prepares like a beast.”
This makes Nketiah’s situation confusing. On the one hand, its future in the Emirates does not look like it does.
But when his manager admires him like that, it seems strange that he hasn’t gotten a spot on at least one Premier League squad this season.