Arsenal can capitalize on Eddie Nketiah’s underappreciated qualities after perfect West Ham showcase

Nketiah was due to leave this summer but his form in recent weeks has changed opinion and many now feel the club should push to persuade him to stay

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Mikel Arteta reviews Arsenal’s win over West Ham

Until recently, it seemed pretty clear that Eddie Nketiah’s future was a long way off arsenal.

He has spent most of this season on the bench and should leave when his contract expires at the end of June. His own representatives have even held talks with other overseas clubs in recent months.

In recent weeks, however, the potential Arsenal academy candidate has been given a more prominent role in his side’s attack by playing ahead Alexandre Lacazette and reward Mikel Arteta with a host of impressive performances.

Understandably, there are now several clubs who are reportedly interested in securing the 22-year-old’s signature, but Arteta and technical director Edu could reconsider their stance on the forward, especially given the lack of options they currently have in their attack to have.

We know signing a new striker is a priority for the north London side as they aim to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left in January, as well as Lacazette, who is also likely to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season .

Numerous big names are on their radar and one permanent recruit is expected. Despite this, there is now a feeling that leaving a player like Nketiah on a free transfer could be a decision the club might regret.

Nketiah is finally showing some of the skills that have made him such an exciting prospect at Arsenal and he has been an integral part of their vastly improved attacking performances of late.

Eddie Nketiah has been in superb form for Arsenal lately as his contract is nearing expiry

He’s great at slipping into pockets in the last third and passing the ball to dangerous teammates around him. This has resulted in opponents finding it increasingly difficult to deal with combinations between him and the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in their half.

The striker also looked great as he took the ball and turned to drive towards goal. Due to his technical skills, he can dribble through tight spaces and regularly work out good shooting positions.

Although he never made the goalscoring list in Sunday’s win west ham, he was a constant threat to Lukasz Fabianski’s goal. The 22-year-old finished the game with more shots (six) and more shots on goal (four) than any other player on the pitch.

Nketiah has shown he can still be a great player for Arsenal when given chances

Another quality he has is speed, and that was lacking in predecessors like Aubameyang and Lacazette. The same gives Arsenal another option when attacking, as they no longer rely on playing short and falling at the attackers’ feet. With Nketiah, they can also try to play more directly by shooting balls backwards and rotating a defensive line.

Nketiah can also use that pace to initiate quick breaks at substitutions and it was no surprise that only Martin Odegaard managed more progressive runs than the striker against West Ham on Sunday (five).

Although Nketiah’s best form has often eluded him in an Arsenal shirt, we’re now starting to see what he’s capable of with a string of games. While many had written him off, it’s easy to forget that his prime is still a long way off.

The Gunners could face more competition to persuade him to stay than they initially anticipated, but his recent performances show why it would be worth persuading him to do so.

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