Brighton and Hove Albion are planning a swoop for Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, who is rated at around £20m.
Eddie Nketiah, 22, a product of the Arsenal youth academy, has found it tough to cement his place in the Arsenal starting XI, making just 17 appearances last term. As he is behind the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the striker pecking order under Mikel Arteta, the young Englishman has found game time hard to come by.
Now that he has entered the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium, Eddie Nketiah could be shown the exit doors this summer. Along with Brighton, Crystal Palace remain interested in securing the striker’s signature but they are hesitant to go into a bidding war.
This apparently opens the door for Brighton to have a free run at Nketiah. The Seagulls have signed midfielder Enock Mwepu and goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen so far, whilst tying defender Adam Webster to a new five-year contract last week.
Brighton must reinforce their attacking options
The South Coast club finished a disappointing 16th on the table with only 40 goals scored in 38 games last season. One of the biggest problems was their profligacy in front of goal, with Neal Maupay, Danny Welbeck and Aaron Connolly not firing all cylinders. The trio scored just 16 goals between them, demonstrating Brighton’s lack of cutting edge.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh never really settled in at the Amex Stadium and has left the club to join Feyenoord, while Andi Zeqiri made only nine substitute league appearances on his debut campaign. Zeqiri clearly cannot be relied upon for goals week in, week out, meaning, Brighton currently has Maupay and Welbeck as just two accomplished strikers in their ranks.
Leandro Trossard was arguably the Seagulls’ best player last season, chipping in with some valuable goal contributions. Being the club’s primary source for creativity and goals, he didn’t disappoint and consistently played well. However, the Belgian could flourish even more when surrounded with better quality players, and Potter must try getting a few players in before the transfer window closes on August 31.
Should the Seagulls make a move for Eddie Nketiah?
Thus, another new striker would be a welcome addition for Potter’s Brighton and Eddie Nketiah could be that man.
To put things into perspective, Eddie Nketiah is still learning his trade but the Seagulls could potentially have a gem on their hands if the young English striker fulfils his promise at the Amex. The 22-year-old didn’t get a run of games last season at Arsenal to show his worth, playing back-up to Aubameyang and Lacazette. And the forward’s desire to secure a move away from the Emirates Stadium has been justified with him rejecting a new contract.
At Brighton, however, Nketiah would get a chance to start things afresh and learn a lot from the likes of Welbeck and Maupay. Potter, who has nurtured a lot of youngsters during his time with the Sea Coast club so far, can also be decisive in the 22-year-old’s overall development as a footballer.
That being said, Brighton must try and negotiate a reasonable fee with the Gunners for Nketiah.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.