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'A losing battle': Charles Watts thinks 'magnificent' Arsenal player could soon join PL rivals

Charles Watts believes Arsenal are probably fighting a “losing battle” with regards to Eddie Nketiah’s future at the Emirates Stadium.

Nketiah’s contract runs out in the summer, and for much of the season, he has struggled for game time under Mikel Arteta.

Prior to the Premier League meeting with Southampton in April, Nketiah hadn’t started a single Premier League game this season.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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The 22-year-old has made it clear he wants first-team football.

“There have been offers of a new contract,” Nketiah told The Beautiful Game podcast in April.

“But at the moment my aim is to play football and play regularly.

“That’s my ambition and that’s what I hope to do but at the same time I’m at Arsenal, I love Arsenal.”

“Looks like he’s going to go”

Since then, Nketiah has started the Gunners’ last Premier League games, and has done very well.

He scored a brace against Chelsea and looked much improved in the wins over Manchester United and West Ham.

In the space of a few weeks, Nketiah has gone from a player seemingly surplus to Arteta’s requirements to one who could be Arsenal’s future up front.

But Watts, speaking on his YouTube channel, believes the Hale End graduate has made up his mind.

The Goal.com correspondent also says he wouldn’t be surprised if Nketiah joined Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.

“On Eddie Nketiah,” began Watts. “Obviously out of contract in the summer, he’s turned down numerous Arsenal attempts to renew that contract.

“Very much looks like he’s going to go.

“Possibly at the end of the season and the fact he’s now starting games, could that change his mind?

“I fully expect Arsenal to try and get Eddie to stay. I don’t think they’d have absolutely given up on it yet.

“They’ll just sit down with him, try and convince him that he still can play a significant amount of minutes at Arsenal if he does stay.

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“I think it’s probably going to be a losing battle. I imagine his mind is made up, the fact he’s turned down numerous contracts kind of suggests it is.

“His agent likes to take his players to Germany as well, where there is significant interest. There’s definitely interest in Nketiah from the Premier League as well.

“Crystal Palace long-standing interest, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he does end up (there). Again we’ll have to wait and see.”

“He doesn’t give us anything else than the best”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta recently spoke of why Nketiah deserves more chances.

“Because he doesn’t give us anything else than the best every single day,” he said.

“The way he trains, the way he wants to improve, the attention that he pays, how he behaves when he plays when he doesn’t play.

“He is just a phenomenal player and he has shown, not to me, I think to the whole team.

“And that’s why he is so respected in the dressing room the type of person he is.”

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