Folarin Balogun’s imminent contract extension and Gabriel Martinelli’s long-term deal seemingly makes Eddie Nketiah the ‘odd man out’ at Arsenal.
The Athletic were one of many outlets to report that Folarin Balogun is closing in on a new contract with Arsenal on Friday, which certainly appears to have consequences for the club’s other promising youth striker in Eddie Nketiah.
The Athletic wrote that Nketiah could well be “the odd man out”, with Gabriel Martinelli also under contract until 2024 (with an option for a further year after that). Nketiah’s own deal only lasts until 2022, and he’s struggled for games recently.
This is just speculation, but it’s worth noting that Balogun and Nketiah are both represented by the same agency – Elite Project Group. If Balogun is now willing to extend, it’s possible that’s because he knows Nketiah might be edging towards an exit.
From an Arsenal point of view, this is certainly the time to either extend or sell. If they don’t think they can offer Nketiah regular games next season, even an extension may well be followed by a loan move away from the club, opening up chances for Balogun.
But more likely, Nketiah will be on the hunt for a new club. He’s played just 100 minutes of senior football in 2021, and it’s hard to imagine the goodwill is still there for an extension and another loan spell.
Scoring five goals and assisting one despite his limited minutes this season, there should be suitors for the England u21s’ record goalscorer if he does decide to move on.