The reliable David Ornstein has this evening provided an update on the future of Arsenal starlet Eddie Nketiah, on the back of his return to the Emirates.
Nketiah’s career to date
Nketiah, a 20-year-old striker, has been on Arsenal’s books since 2015, when he made the move across London from Premier League rivals Chelsea.
After spending two seasons in the club’s youth setup, Nketiah’s goalscoring exploits saw him first handed a chance to impress as part of the Gunners’ first-team panel in 2017.
The 8-time capped English U21-international, though, subsequently struggled to carve out any meaningful game-time.
Last season saw Nketiah manage 5 Premier League appearances as part of Unai Emery’s senior squad. All of these, however, came from the bench.
As such, with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette firmly ahead of Nketiah in the centre-forward pecking order at the Emirates, the path to regular first-team minutes would likely have proven a difficult one to navigate for the 20-year-old once again this season.
As a result, back in August, it was confirmed that Nketiah had made the move to the Championship, with Leeds United, for the 2019/20 campaign:
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 8, 2019
And the former Chelsea man subsequently went on to enjoy an impressive start to life at Elland Road:
Eddie Nketiah this season:
-3 goals in pre-season.
-Joins Leeds on loan.
-Scores on his U23 debut.
-Scores on his Championship debut.
-Scores on his League Cup debut.
-Called up to the England U21 squad.
-Scores for the England U21s.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) September 6, 2019
The months that followed, though, did not exactly prove fruitful for Nketiah in terms of playing time.
While the Arsenal youngster did manage appearances in 17 of Leeds’ 26 Championship outings to this point in the campaign, just two of these came in the form of starts.
As such, speculation inevitably began to mount late last month that Arsenal had grown tired of Nketiah’s lack of minutes on the pitch.
It therefore came as little surprise when the Gunners’ decision to recall their on-loan hitman was made official upon the opening of the winter transfer window last week:
What’s the latest on @EddieNketiah9? 🤔
Here’s what @m8arteta said earlier today…
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 2, 2020
2nd Championship stint incoming
And, as outlined above, an update on Arsenal’s plans for Nketiah has emerged online this evening.
The north Londoners are expected to sanction another loan spell for the youngster imminently, with Nketiah set for a return to the Championship.
As things stand, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest & Sheffield Wednesday are all battling it out to secure the Englishman’s services.
The final decision, though, appears to lie with Nketiah himself, with an announcement expected to be forthcoming tomorrow:
Currently between Bristol City, Nottingham Forest & Sheffield Wednesday for Eddie Nketiah loan – his decision expected Tuesday: https://t.co/FI2AyIsKIL
That + loads more on this week’s pod, out tomorrow morning: https://t.co/AXiyHbr90d
Monday’s column: https://t.co/oRylJTXX9w
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 6, 2020