Eddie Nketiah has suggested he’d prefer to stay with Arsenal rather than go on loan next season, despite competing with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for starts.

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BURNLEY, ENGLAND – MAY 12: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his goal during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Arsenal FC at Turf Moor on May 12, 2019, in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Nketiah had another strong season in 2018/19, with the major caveat that he didn’t get nearly as many first-team opportunities as he would’ve wanted.

Playing for the u23s, the striker appeared 11 times (10 starts), scored 10 goals and assisted another four. In the first-team, he only managed 331 minutes (fewer than four full matches’ worth) and scored once.

Nonetheless, rather than pushing for a loan and more regular game time, Nketiah has suggested to the media that he’d prefer to remain with Arsenal.

“My ideal scenario is to be playing here, I want to play here next season but we have got to see how that goes,” he told PA (via Evening Express).

“I am confident enough in my ability that I am good enough to play here so I have just got to work hard and show the manager that I can. My aim is to play for Arsenal, that is my goal and has been my aim since I was a kid.”

Obviously, the 20-year-old has Aubameyang and Lacazette for competition right now, but he sees that as a positive.

“It is great to have two of the best strikers in the world around you and learn from them every day. I’m just progressing, trying to catch them and make the gap smaller and smaller.”

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Eddie Nketiah at the Toulon Tournament (Photo via Magali Ruffato / MemoPhoto)

Nketiah will make a slightly later return to pre-season than some others, after his participation in the Toulon Tournament with the England u20s. He scored two goals and assisted one in three matches at the event.

Joe Willock was also at the tournament, and Nketiah thinks the two of them and Reiss Nelson should be pushing to play for Arsenal this season.

“I think it is really important, over the years it is what Arsenal have prided themselves on, having great youngsters coming through the academy,” he added.

“I think the bunch we have right now, me, Joe Willock, Reiss and the other boys, we are good players for our age and we just have to keep pushing and why not?

“I think the fans would love to see a lot of the young boys in the team week in, week out so come the start of the season, we will all be pushing to get in the team regularly.”

Given Arsenal’s financial situation, they may end up better off if they do give more chances to the young homegrown talent they already have, rather than blowing more money on short-term gambles.