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Edu finally has to fire the Arsenal flop who earns the same amount as Gabriel

Mikel Arteta has an inner circle of players he trusts more than most at Arsenal. That's fair enough, right? Undoubtedly.

Every manager has their preferences and considering the Gunners are still in contention for the title race, you can understand why in this situation.

Bukayo Saka, the club's top goalscorer with 20 this campaign, will always start on the right. David Raya is always a man between the sticks. Gabriel and William Saliba are the preferred defensive partners while Martin Odegaard will always be positioned alongside Declan Rice.

However, where Arsenal have fallen short over the past two seasons has been fatigue. That is because of the distrust of the marginalized.

Emile Smith Rowe, for example, only made two starts in 2024. Reiss Nelson has started once and Fabio Vieira has not featured since the start.

It's a confusing set of circumstances. Vieira, in particular, has his merits. A supreme creator, it beggars belief that the Portuguese were not given much of a chance.

He may still have a long-term future at the Emirates but the same cannot be said for Smith Rowe or another Hale End graduate in Eddie Nketiah.

What does the future hold for Nketiah

Over the past two summers, there have been questions surrounding the England striker. However, instead of leaving, he signed a new deal in 2022 and has been stuck ever since.

Whether that was the best decision, however, is up for debate. He has not featured under Arteta in recent months and could be facing the exit door.


The Athletic's David Ornstein provided an update on the 24-year-old's future in a Q&A with subscribers. When asked if Nketiah could go, the reporter said:

“Nketiah's lack of performance this season sounds good. It suggests that he may not be part of their plans as was thought when he signed his new contract. It's not good for someone at his level. A job where he needs and wants to play regular football.

“There has long been interest in Nketiah from the Premier League (for example, Crystal Palace) and abroad, and his birth condition means that a sale would represent a pure profit for Arsenal for PSR. So I think there is a good chance that he will move. continue, but I don't know that anything is happening yet. ”

Why must Nketiah go

Truth be told, the answer is pretty simple here; he can't be trusted in front of goal.

Nketiah is a great character, no doubt about that. He works hard and will always try his best to improve. The truth is that he is not good enough to play regularly in a team that is fighting for the title.

That is sad. After all, this was a campaign where the striker achieved a lot. He scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Sheffield United last October and was handed his first England cap by Gareth Southgate.

Ernest Muçi and Eddie Nketiah

However, since then, it's been downhill for the £100k-a-week man. This is a remarkable salary for a player who has not started a game since New Year's, in the 2-1 defeat by Fulham.

In context, that salary is the same as Gabriel, a man regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League this season. It is also ahead of Golden Glove winner David Raya and Arsenal's second top scorer Leandro Trossard.

The Belgian is sitting on £90k-a-week having scored 16 times this season. It's a good take home salary but he shouldn't be paid less than Nketiah, who has scored just six goals in 37 games this season.

In fact, the academy graduate has failed to score in the league since scoring three against the Blades. In all competitions, he has not found the net since beating PSV in the Champions League last December.

So what's the problem? Well, the emergence of Kai Havertz as a real option at center forward didn't help his cause.


Nketiah may have played more often than we thought following Gabriel Jesus' difficult injury history but the German has been a revelation in that role, registering 13 goal involvements in 17 games as a striker this season.

With reports suggesting that Edu and Co could still sign the center forward in the summer, all signs point to an exit for Nketiah. Witnessing the successful exit of a school product is always a sad day but it has had opportunities and should continue.


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