At the beginning of the summer, things looked rosy for Eddie Nketiah. He signed a new Arsenal deal as the club’s only striker. They have since got Gabriel Jesus, and now, Arsenal star Folarin Balogun’s form might be a worry for Nketiah.
Nketiah, 23, signed a new deal under the pretense that he would be getting more game time. The reason his deal had come so close to expiring is because he was considering a move elsewhere. But he played more before the summer.
A new deal came – but Nketiah will have known the club were going to sign a new striker. Perhaps, he might not have known the quality of the striker coming in. Jesus has arrived and has been excellent, three goals and three assists in six.
It has meant that while Nketiah has played in all six of his side’s Premier League games, they have all been from the bench. He started in the Europa League against Zurich, getting a goal and an assist. But also, conceding a penalty
So, Nketiah finds himself second choice again – something he wanted to avoid. Now, the form of Balogun in Ligue 1 with loan side Stade Reims might have him looking over his shoulder. Balogun is on fire in French football.
BALOGUN’S FORM FOR REIMS MIGHT BE A WORRY FOR ARSENAL STAR NKETIAH
Balogun left Arsenal for a second time on loan after a decent spell at Middlesbrough, to join French side Reims. But not many could have predicted how good he has been – scoring five goals in seven games, and laying on two assists
William Saliba has gone to French football, and then returned to Arsenal as a regular. Nuno Tavares is also shining at Marseille and as things stand, he looks like he will have a future at the Gunners. Balogun, too, given his form.
Nketiah has been given plenty of chances at Arsenal. Runs of games in which he shows glimpses, and then dies off. Balogun is yet to get that chance. Maybe, if Balogun continues his form, Arsenal will hand Balogun a chance next term.
It will be a worry for Nketiah. Two years older than Balogun, it might be that his future is plunged back into further doubt, with Balogun preferred if he finishes as he has started. £100k-a-week Nketiah will be looking over his shoulder.