Crystal Palace to look elsewhere from Eddie Nketiah
Crystal Palace fans have, for the most part, gotten used to the team having to take punts on young players. Despite being an established Premier League club, the sheer depth of competition in the top flight can make landing players a challenge. Palace have found this to their cost more than once, and have missed out on several signings over the recent years alone due to a higher profile team taking an interest. One player who Palace missed out on was Eddie Nketiah.
The Arsenal striker was linked with a move to South London in the summer transfer window, but nothing happened. The player has instead stuck around at Arsenal, and has barely made an impact since. A series of loan moves for the youngster have not worked out, either, and he finds himself out of contract in the summer 2022 without anything in place.
While some Palace fans might have expected the club to return for a second shot at the striker, it now looks unlikely. Despite Palace coach Patrick Vieira having a strong relationship with the Gunners, it looks like both club and player will look to alternative opportunities in the January window.
Palace need another striker, to help give Odsonne Edouard another forward option to compete with and link-up with. The arrival of Nketiah was seen as a good option to have off the bench, but it appears his lack of interest mixed with poor Premier League form has seen Palace look to other options ahead of the winter transfer window.
Will Palace regret not signing Eddie Nketiah?
At the moment, it would be hard to say yes. The striker has so far managed a paltry five goals in forty top-flight appearances. A poor record in the league and also a mixture of poor form on loan at other clubs – including then-promotion-chasing Leeds United – has seen his star drip considerably. Other players have now moved ahead of Nketiah at both youth international level and at club level.
Though he is clearly a talent, there has been precious little shown at senior professional level so far. The player has often failed to live up to his expectations and has also not scored with regularity at senior level. Though a livewire at reserve level, Nketiah is yet to really show anything of major value at senior level – in both the Premier League and in the Championship.
As such, Palace probably should conserve their limited funds to another forward. The fact that Nketiah was so keen to not move here in the summer is one thing; his poor form since the summer is another. He would be an expensive project that, at the moment, the club does not need.
With enough young talent in the first XI, Palace need to add another rotational striker who can be relied upon to score. A one-in-eight record in the Premier League paired with a disappointing inconsistency means that Nketiah, for all of his potential, is likely not the option that the club need.