Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has signed a new contract at the Emirates, committing to the club for the foreseeable future and grabbing an iconic shirt number in the process.
After previously struggling for minutes under Mikel Arteta, Nketiah found a rich vein of form at the close of last season. However, in the final seven games of the Premier League season, the 23-year-old struck the back of the goal five times, putting an end to what appeared to be an inevitable exit.
Arsenal are still expected to sign a big first-choice target this summer, with Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City appearing increasingly likely. But, having impressed, the Arsenal hierarchy was eager to secure Nketiah’s future.
Arteta said of the signing, “I’m glad Eddie is staying with us.” “He embodies all we stand for and all of the club’s principles.” We are overjoyed that he has extended his contract, and now we must get to work developing the amazing ability and person we have in him.”
Edu, the director of football, added: “This squad’s foundations are made up of youthful talent, particularly those who have come through our Academy system. Eddie was released by another team when he was a young man, but he has always demonstrated that he possesses both the mentality and the potential to become a top player. We’re all thrilled that he’s signed a new deal because it’s a crucial element of our squad’s planning for next season.”
Alexandre Lacazette recently left on a free transfer, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left on less than favorable circumstances in the January transfer window. It has left Arteta with few options, and the summer is expected to be hectic.
From next season, Nketiah will wear the number 14 shirt for the Gunners. It may not be an iconic number for other clubs, but in the red part of North London, it means a lot because it was worn by Thierry Henry. The club has now published video of the striker receiving the shirt shortly after signing the contract.
“Please come in. Let’s get started, “As Nketiah walked into the office, Edu exclaimed happily. “[Shirt] That’s your new one. Now, how about this?” As he displayed the legendary number 14 on the back of his shirt, the Brazilian added.
Nketiah himself seemed to be at a loss for words, adding merely, “Very wonderful.” “You deserve it,” said the director, smirking.