David Ornstein has suggested that Arsenal may well look to bring in a striker and send Eddie Nketiah on loan this summer, with Danny Welbeck leaving the club.
Arsenal have the starting centre-forward positions at the club nailed down, with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doing excellent jobs for the team this season. After that, Eddie Nketiah has had to fill in on the bench for much of the campaign, with Danny Welbeck suffering a long-term injury in late 2018.
Now, Welbeck is leaving the club for good. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday, David Ornstein has suggested this could cause Arsenal to look for a replacement.
Ornstein: “Possibly a center forward with Welbeck leaving. Nketiah would then go on loan if they did bring a center forward in.” #AFC
— Cannon Insider (@CannonInsider) May 14, 2019
It’s interesting to see Ornstein suggest that Nketiah’s loan is dependent on Arsenal making a signing, as most of us expect that a loan move should be pretty much a certainty for the youngster. Despite Welbeck missing most of the campaign, Nketiah only managed 62 minutes of Premier League football all season, scoring one goal.
If his chances are going to be that limited even when Arsenal have no other alternatives to Aubameyang and Lacazette, he has to go somewhere else on loan.
The counter-argument is that if Arsenal didn’t make any signings and loaned Nketiah, they’d have no backup in case of any injuries to Aubameyang or Lacazette.
There are plenty of other options at the club though. From playing a system with one striker and two wide players to giving young Tyreece John-Jules a chance after his excellent finish to the season. If Folarin Balogun plays as well for the u23s as the u18s (where he scored 32 goals this season), he’ll be knocking on the door very quickly too.
Nketiah isn’t Arsenal’s only youth striker, and thanks to Unai Emery’s squad selection this season he’s not much more experienced than the alternatives. He needs to go and play regularly.