What Mikel Arteta has said about Eddie Nketiah’s Arsenal future amid Brighton and Watford links

Eddie Nketiah is being linked with a move away from Arsenal this summer, with the 21-year-old entering the final year of his contract in north London.

Nketiah is a target for newly-promoted Watford this summer, according to a report from the Mirror, and has previously been linked with Brighton & Hove Albion.

The England Under-21 international has come through the academy at the Gunners, but has fell down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta.

But the same report claims Arsenal will demand more than £15million for his services, if he does leave the club in the coming months.

Back in March, Arteta was asked about the amount of opportunities Nketiah was getting at the Emirates and gave his verdict.

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“It hurts as well because of how Eddie [Nketiah] behaves and trains every day and because he’s a player from our academy, but he will have his chance,” Arteta said.

“He needs to be patient and he’s showing no signs of lacking attitude or anything like that, it’s the complete opposite.

“He’s a joy to work with and he deserves minutes and if he doesn’t get it, it’s just my fault.”

That isn’t the only time the Arsenal boss has been asked about the Hale End graduate’s future at the club, with the Spaniard giving a simple but effective answer when he was asked if Nketiah would be leaving the club in January.

“No,” Arteta said.

The Gunners manager also spoke in January about the lack of minutes the striker was getting under him, but compared him to other strikers his age around Europe.

“You go back one calendar year and compare what he’s done,” Arteta explained.

“He was coming from Leeds, where he wasn’t playing at all, we were going to send him on loan and I decided not to do it. It’s a big transformation.

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“He’s a young player, he’s got some players competing with him in that position but I think he’s done a lot and his development in a year for his position, compared to any other striker his age in Europe, you won’t see many that have played that many minutes.

“He makes sure every day that he is on track, the way he trains and the way he pushes everybody. I am not worried about that.”

Nketiah scored six times for Arsenal in 29 appearances in all competitions throughout the 2020/21 season, with the striker having to fight for his place against the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

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