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Arsenal news: Paul Merson fires Eddie Nketiah warning after striker compared to Ian Wright | Football | Sport

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Arsenal legend Paul Merson has warned Gunners fans to curb their excitement on Eddie Nketiah after the youngster’s two-goal display against Chelsea on Wednesday. The performance has left some clamouring for Nketiah to sign a new deal, with the threat of a free exit at the end of the season looming large. 

It was a glorious night for Nketiah at Stamford Bridge on a rare Premier League start. The 22-year-old showed pace, strength and a cool head in finishing off the Gunners’ opening goal, and good improvisation to poke home his second. 

His situation seemed to flip on its head there and then. With a contract due to expire in a few weeks’ time, Mikel Arteta admitted that he had not given Nketiah the game time he deserved after the final whistle, which suggests that he will be landed with more chances to impress between now and the end of the season. 

One of those will most likely be against Manchester United on Saturday, where another electric performance would stir up more fan excitement. Merson, however, has urged caution. 

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“He says they’ve made him an offer and he’s delaying his decision. He probably thinks he’ll get more game time elsewhere because he knows Arsenal will buy a striker this summer. And to be honest I don’t see him scoring 25 goals for Arsenal next season even if he did stay, so maybe it’s for the best if he leaves.”

Nketiah has notched 20 senior goals for the Gunners, most of which coming in cup competitions amid scarce Premier League opportunities behind Arteta’s more experienced options. A fruitful loan spell with Leeds United in 2019/20 and becoming the England Under-21 all-time leading scorer are also on his CV, which is why he will have no shortage of potential destinations if he decides to ditch the Emirates this summer. 

Brighton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United have all been linked to the striker with prospects of a free transfer on the horizon. Despite the offer of a new deal in north London, the youngster appears to be taking time to weigh up his next move. 

Alexandre Lacazette – Arsenal’s only other out-and-out frontman – is also set to leave for free but could find himself consigned to the bench for the remainder of the campaign after a series of lacklustre performances. Nketiah’s decision could therefore depend on how his extended audition goes over the next few games. 

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