Eddie Nketiah has explained how Mikel Arteta left him no choice but to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, despite Arsenal’s ongoing pursuit to sign Gabriel Jesus. The Hale End graduate, who once looked destined to leave the Gunners this summer, has penned a new five-year deal at the club following a spritely conclusion to the season.
The 23-year-old impressed late into the campaign, finding a flurry of goals after a succession of Premier League starts. Nketiah made 21 league appearances, scoring five goals and assisting once; he quickly grew into a pivotal figure in the Arsenal side, leaving Edu no choice but to offer the striker a new deal.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Nketiah said: “Everyone knows how much I love Arsenal. I have come through the academy, I have the attachment with the club. The manager was very supportive and pushed a lot for me to stay.
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“Once I had those kinds of assurances, and no doubts that I will get opportunities to play next season, it was almost impossible for me to leave. That run [of matches] really helped me.
“It gave me the feeling I always wanted, that I have craved. That feeling of playing well, doing well, scoring. It helped me with my decision and made it a lot clearer. Experiencing that with my family, we knew this is the place to be. There is nothing quite like doing well for the club you support and love.”
Arteta is still said to still be in the market for a centre-forward this summer following the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for the Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and technical director Edu has held talks with the player’s representatives in recent months, football.london understands.
But, Nketiah has insisted that he’s unfazed as to whether the Gunners boss signs a new No. 9, who would naturally pose competition for first-team opportunities. He said: “Every team needs a squad to compete. The club is always looking for ways to strengthen. They have extended my deal and they have done so for a reason. Whoever comes in, you relish the challenge. You make them feel welcome, and then you fight and compete.”
Arsenal are said to have offered Jesus a €16million-a-year contract – around £264,000-a-week. It’s believed that, should the Gunners qualify for the Champions League next season, the Brazilian’s contract will rise to €17m-a-year – around £280,000-a-week.
All in all, while the Gunners may currently enjoy a lead in the race for Jesus, there is pressure from Arteta to wrap up the deal very soon, according to Goal Brazil. Nonetheless, the Telegraph outline that Pep Guardiola’s side are said to value the forward at £50million and Arsenal are ‘confident’ of completing a deal.
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Source by Football London