Arsenal urged to give Eddie Nketiah a new contract with Man City and Liverpool claim

Mikel Arteta reviews Arsenal's win against West Ham

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It is no secret that Arsenal are set to be in the market for a striker in the summer. However, Tony Cascarino believes that the Gunners need to ensure signs Eddie Nketiah a bumper contract where all his demands are met so that they have options going forward.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was allowed to leave for Barcelona in the January transfer window after disciplinary woes saw the forward stripped of club captaincy and frozen out of the team by manager Mikel Arteta. The Gabon international has since flourished in the La Liga and scored nine goals in 13 league appearances.

Fellow proven centre forward Alexandre Lacazette is also set to depart in the summer when his contract expires, as is Nketiah. Arteta has been vocal in how he hopes that the latter puts pen to paper on a new deal and remains committed to his project.

However, Nketiah has stood strong – to date – in his desire to play regular first-team football and is willing to leave his boyhood club in order to achieve that. But former Chelsea and Aston Villa striker Cascarino believes that Arsenal must do all they can to keep Nketiah if they are to close the gulf in class between themselves and title contenders Liverpool and Manchester City.

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Writing about Nketiah for The Times, Cascarino said: “Should he be Arsenal’s starting centre forward? Probably not. But he is only 22 and is clearly getting better.

“If Arsenal want to join the clubs above them in the league, they need to give themselves options like those clubs do. What Arsenal don’t want to do is allow him to leave and then watch him make those improvements at another club.

“He might not be ready to start every game just yet but he has manned up in those three victories, shown that he is good enough to be part of a group of Arsenal strikers and when called upon will make a difference — both as a scorer and an all-round leader of the line. Arteta will be delighted. But now he has the difficult task of convincing him to stay.”

Nketiah has started Arsenal’s last four matches, scoring twice and proving an ever-present threat with his ability to link up play but also race in behind and stretch defences.

His lack of experience would certainly mean it is a huge risk for Arteta to promise Nketiah that he will be his main striker for next season, though he is certainly a high-quality option that will only improve as time goes on.

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