According to reports, Mikel Arteta has ‘agreed’ to ‘sacrifice’ Eddie Nketiah as Arsenal attempt to sign an ‘elite striker in January’.
Nketiah has become a regular under Arteta at Arsenal. His future was in doubt ahead of the 2022/23 campaign but he eventually decided to pen a new long-term contract which runs until 2027.
The Englishman netted nine goals in his 39 appearances for the Gunners across all competitions last season. So far this term, he has five goals in 20 outings.
Arsenal are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League but they are expected to strengthen in January to boost their chances of winning the title.
They have been linked with several centre-midfielders and strikers in recent months but they are having to work smartly in an attempt to get around Financial Fair Play regulations.
The Londoners – who are second in the 2023 Premier League net spend table – invested around £200m on signings in the summer but their decision to structure their deal for David Raya as a loan-to-buy proves they are on a financial tightrope.
A report from Football Transfers claims ‘Arsenal’s hunt for an elite striker in the January transfer window means that they need to sell to buy, with the club willing to listen to offers for Nketiah’. The report adds.
‘We are told that the North London club are on the borderline of Financial Fair Play and so Mikel Arteta has agreed that the academy graduate could be one that they sacrifice in order to sign their targets, each of whom is likely to cost a substantial fee.
‘The 24-year-old, who has previously disclosed how close he was to leaving the club, could be moved on so Arsenal can sign a prolific replacement. Benjamen Sesko, Dusan Vlahovic, and Ivan Toney are just three names that have been mentioned internally. Of this trio, FootballTransfers exclusively revealed that Vlahovic is their main target.’
Instead of long-term target Vlahovic, Gunners legend Emmanuel Petit thinks they should pursue £63m Newcastle United star Alexander Isak.
“Alexander Isak is tall, aggressive and has great technique,” Petit told LuckyBlock.com.
“He wants to score every time he gets the ball but he needs to be more precise in his game. Physically and technically, he has a huge presence on the pitch. If one day someone can tell me that he plays like Thierry Henry, maybe I will believe them, but for the moment it’s too soon to say that.
“He’s a good striker and he’s someone that Arsenal would be very happy to have because he brings different qualities. Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah play similarly, they are different in terms of movement, but physically, technically and in their finishing they are not far apart.”
Petit added: “I get upset by Nketiah’s finishing, and Arsenal need to have a striker that can score 30 goals in all competitions throughout the season, it’s something missing at Arsenal if they want to improve.
“Isak is a very good striker and finished very well in the second half of the season last year after being injured. He started well this year again. If he can avoid being injured, because it’s been a problem since he arrived, we will see his real qualities.”