An update has emerged on Crystal Palace’s pursuit of Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah.
According to the Daily Mail, Palace are set to intensify their talks with Arsenal over a deal for Nketiah.
The report claims Patrick Vieira is looking to bolster his squad before next Tuesday’s transfer deadline and a move for Nketiah is due to pick up pace in the coming days.
Vieira could land a dream attacking partnership by signing Nketiah as he could form an excellent relationship with Christian Benteke. They could be the little and large duo at the top end of the pitch to cause opposition defences problems this season, which is why Palace must ensure that they can get a deal over the line for the Gunners forward.
The 6 foot 3 Benteke won an impressive 6.8 aerial battles per game in 30 Premier League appearances for Palace last term. Nketiah, meanwhile, has a career average of 0.4 aerial battles won per game for Arsenal, which suggests that he struggles with holding the ball up and winning flick-ons for his teammates.
This means that Nketiah may not be the ideal option for Vieira when playing with one striker on the pitch. However, playing him alongside Benteke could create the perfect foil for the attack, with the Belgian striker able to provide the out ball by holding off defenders and allowing Nketiah to use his movement and pace to get in behind or pick up the ball in pockets of space.
The English forward scored five goals in ten starts for Arsenal last season in the Premier League and Europa League, which suggests that he has the quality to score goals at the top level if given the minutes. In 2020, Mikel Arteta hailed Nketiah’s personality as ‘immense’ and said that he is continuing to develop as a player. He said:
“I want him to keep doing what he’s doing. The way he played last night against those players, in those difficult conditions, for me is extraordinary at his age.
“He has an immense personality to play, confidence, he’s powerful and is developing in every area, I think. I have a lot of faith in him.”
This shows that Nketiah also has the potential to improve further, which is another reason why Palace must sanction this deal. They could be getting a player who could work well alongside Benteke, whilst also making an investment on a talent who could grow and become more valuable in the future.