West Ham United have been given a big boost in their pursuit of Eddie Nketiah, according to reports…
The Evening Standard’s Jack Rosser claims the Irons have been given hope of securing a deal for the 21-year-old Arsenal youngster this summer after the north London outfit secured Folarin Balogun to a new long-term contract extension.
It’s thought that West Ham have been tracking Nketiah since January, where they had a loan approach knocked back but he’s now expected to drop down the pecking order, especially given mooted interest in Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard, who the Hammers have also been linked to recently.
At the end of the season, the England U21 international will be in the final year of his contract, so it leaves the Gunners with a decision to make.
It remains to be seen how much Nketiah would command with CIES Football Observatory currently valuing him at €30m (£26m).
The report goes onto suggest that David Moyes is a huge admirer of the Arsenal gem as he sees him as someone that could fit his energetic style of play and would be hungry to prove himself – very much in a similar nature to that of Michail Antonio.
But it’s another one-time Hammers goalscorer that he draws further comparisons to, and it should have many at the London Stadium brimming with excitement.
Moyes and GSB could well find West Ham’s next Jermain Defoe in Nketiah.
“He reminds me of another Jermaine Defoe and look at how well he did at West Ham,” explained Noel Whelan to Football Insider. “He’s very much that similar sort of player. He plays off the shoulder, very dangerous in the box. He’s a player you can’t take your eye off because his movement’s so good.”
The 38-year-old is still plying his trade for Scottish champions Rangers and his career was truly kickstarted in east London, where he proved to be a prolific sensation, top-scoring with ten goals in his debut season in the Premier League aged just 19. He then went onto bag eight in the next season, and 11 goals in 19 appearances in the old First Division, as per Transfermarkt.
Nketiah may be a little further along at 21 but he has found game time hard to come by at the Emirates Stadium, though his record for the Three Lions is impeccable with 16 goals from 17 caps, and that’s caught the eye of Michael Owen, who knows a thing or two about scoring himself.
The former Liverpool striker lauded the young forward a “goal machine,” something that the Irons have felt this term themselves as he bagged the winner back in September from the bench – his only league strike so far this campaign.
Signing a new striker should absolutely be Moyes’ top priority this summer and making a splash for Nketiah could prove to be a shrewd decision as not only will he fill a glaring void but he’ll also get a 5 foot 11 nuisance that’s perfect for his system.
GSB must stump up the cash for Nketiah at the end of the season.
AND in other news, One man shines: Our West Ham player ratings in poor Newcastle defeat…