Eddie Nketiah signs new Arsenal contract to complete U-turn after remarkable turnaround in fortunes

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Staying put: Eddie Nketiah will not be leaving Arsenal this summer  (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Staying put: Eddie Nketiah will not be leaving Arsenal this summer (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has signed a new long-term contract at the club, completing a remarkable turnaround in fortunes.

A product of Arsenal’s Hale End academy, Nketiah was due to be out of contract at the end of the month and for most of the season looked likely to leave the club this summer.

The 23-year-old had not started a single one of the Gunners’ Premier League games up to the beginning of April and seemed set to depart the Emirates as a free agent having rejected multiple offers of a new deal, with Crystal Palace among the interested parties.

However, Nketiah then displaced departing captain Alexandre Lacazette during the run-in and started Arsenal’s final eight games of the league season, scoring five times in that period.

He has now penned a new deal which, if it runs its full course, will see his stay at the club extend beyond a decade, having joined Arsenal in 2015 after leaving Chelsea’s academy. He has also been handed Thierry Henry’s iconic No14 shirt number that had been vacant since former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s exit to Barcelona in January.

Manager Mikel Arteta said: “I’m delighted Eddie is staying with us. He represents what we are all about and all the values of the club. We are very happy that he has extended his contract and now we have to get to work and continue to develop the great talent and person that we have in him.”

Lacazette was also out of contract at the end of the campaign and has already left to re-join former club Lyon, meaning Arteta is still desperate to add a marquee new signing at centre-forward.

Gabriel Jesus is the Spaniard’s No1 target, with Arsenal increasingly confident of securing a deal for the Brazilian, who Manchester City value at £50million.

Commenting on Nketiah’s contract, technical director Edu said: “The foundations of this squad are built on young talent and in particular those who have come through our Academy system.

“Eddie was released by another club as a young man but has always shown he has the attitude as well as the ability to become a top player. The fact he’s signed a new contract is an important part of our squad planning for next season and we’re all delighted.”

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