Sunday, June 26, 2022

Aston Villa Are In The Race To Recruit This Arsenal Striker: What Will He Add To Smith’s Side?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent tweet, renowned journalist Ekrem Konur revealed that Aston Villa are in the race to recruit Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah who is planning to leave when the transfer window reopens in January. It is understood that the Villans could face competition in the form of Brentford and Leeds United in pursuit of the English forward.

Nketiah’s Inconsistent Form At North London

Nketiah had an up and down season at the Emirates Stadium last season as he struggled to find consistency in terms of his productivity in the final third. The London-born talent participated in 29 matches for the Gunners in the previous campaign, scoring six goals and grabbing one assist across all competitions.

Most of the 22-year-old’s appearances came off the bench which explains why he could only average 0.7 shots, 0.5 key passes and 0.4 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. However, he deserves credit for being tidy when distributing the ball after making 82.4% of his attempted passes in the top tier of English football (stats via whoscored).

Nketiah needs to ensure regular first-team starts if he wants to establish himself as a top performer at the highest level. Hence, a switch to Aston Villa could help him get his career back on track in the second half of this campaign.

Aston Villa are in the race to recruit Nketiah who is seen in the picture
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/), Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

What Will Nketiah Add To Dean Smith’s Team?

Nketiah is a quick and agile striker who can make some good runs in behind the opponent’s backline. He can be a decent finisher in the final third when he is playing regularly and with confidence on the field. At 22, Nketiah’s best years are ahead of him which makes him a good long-term option for Aston Villa to pursue this winter. He is primarily a centre-forward but can also play as a wide player on either flank if required.

The English forward can get himself into some dangerous areas in the opposition half. However, he needs to find some consistency with his performances as the focal point of the attack. At the moment, the Villans can use a player of Nketiah’s skill set as he is good enough to compete with Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings for a regular first-team place at Villa Park.

We can expect the Arsenal attacker to add some pace and goals to Smith’s first team. Plus, he will increase competition for places within the Aston Villa squad. Hence, Smith should think about engineering a move to bring Nketiah to the West Midlands during the upcoming January transfer window.

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