Friday, March 24, 2023

Neketia takes Henry’s legendary No. 14 shirt as Arsenal sign striker’s new deal.

Gunners forward remains at Emirates Stadium as club looks to bring in extra firepower in summer transfer window

Arsenal have announced that Eddie Neketia has signed a new contract.

The striker’s old deal expires this summer and he looks set to leave after rejecting several attempts to sign him an extension.

Yet after extensive talks in recent weeks, and enjoying a successful end to the 2021-22 season that saw him start eight consecutive Premier League games, a new contract has now been agreed.

What are the details of Neketia’s new Arsenal contract?

Neketia has agreed to a five-year deal, which will run until 2027.

He becomes the latest product of Arsenal’s Hale and Academy to sign a new long-term extension, after Bukayo Saka in 2020 and Emil Smith Rowe in 2021.

As well as signing a new deal, Niketia has also captured Arsenal great No. 14 – the shirt worn by all-time record scorer Thierry Henry.

Arsenal confirmed Neketia’s new contract on Saturday afternoon, ending hopes of clubs such as Crystal Palace and Brighton all hoping to sign the 22-year-old.

What is said about the stay in the armory of Niketia?

Manager Mikel Arteta told the club’s website: “I am delighted that Eddie is staying with us. He represents what we are and represents all of the club’s values.

“We are very pleased that they have extended their contract and now we have to work and continue to develop the great talent and person that we have.”

Time to prove the skeptics wrong

By Charles WattsGOAL’s Arsenal Correspondent

Neketia’s fortunes have changed drastically in the past few months.

As of 16 April, he had not started a single Premier League game and was on course to go free, before Arteta gave him the chance in place of the misfiring Alexandre Lacazette.

This was one occasion when Niketia scored five goals in eight starts with both hands.

The form he showed made Arsenal double down on their efforts to keep him at the club and he has now been rewarded with a lucrative long-term deal.

Neketia’s challenge now is to maintain the kind of form he showed at the end of last season during that run. He has to prove that it wasn’t just a flash in the pan.

He now has a chance to really cement himself as a key figure in the club and prove his doubts – many of which are still wrong.

There will be a lot of talk about Naketia picking up the number 14 shirt, but it shows that the youngster is certainly not short of confidence.

He now has big shoes to fill at Arsenal. Whether he is able to do so remains to be seen.

Further reading

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