Darren Bent is BAFFLED by rumoured Crystal Palace interest in Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah this month… as he believes the 22-year-old is what Brighton are ‘crying out for’
- Crystal Palace interest in Eddie Nketiah is hard to understand, says Darren Bent
- The former Tottenham striker feels Nketiah is what Brighton ‘are crying out for’
- The Arsenal striker has so far refused to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium
- Mikel Arteta is keen to keep hold of Nketiah but the player wants more minutes
Interest in Eddie Nketiah from Crystal Palace is ‘surprising’ when they are already well stocked in attack, believes Darren Bent.
The former Tottenham striker is struggling to get his head around reported interest in the Arsenal youngster by the Eagles, as he looks to land a January move.
‘The Palace one surprises me when they have Benteke and Odsonne Edouard,’ Bent told talkSPORT. ‘That surprises me a little bit.’
Eddie Nketiah is attracting plenty of Premier League interest as he targets a January move
Nketiah, who has turned down multiple extension offers at Arsenal already, has yet to start a Premier League game this season and has only come off the bench on three occasions.
That lack of game time is believed to be a key factor behind his failure to extend his deal in north London.
While Palace, who have Edouard and Benteke jockeying for the No 9 role in Patrick Vieira’s team, another team linked, namely Brighton, is a team that Bent believes desperately need someone of Nketiah’s quality.
‘Brighton, that is all they are crying out for,’ he added. ‘They play some of the nicest stuff. Danny Welbeck scored the other week, but his fitness has been an issue.
‘Neal Maupay is like a patchy striker. He would have a period of scoring in three games here and then won’t score for a while.
Darren Bent (pictured) is a fan of Nketiah but does not understand Crystal Palace’s interests
Bent feels the Arsenal youngster is better at Brighton as they cannot rely on Neal Maupay
‘But Eddie Nketiah, all Brighton need is someone to stay in and around the box, then they will finish them off.
‘Nketiah, for me, is a natural goalscorer, who will pick up them positions. Out of those two clubs, he suits Brighton.’
Finding himself behind Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and others for league matches, Nketiah’s opportunities to impress have therefore come in the Carabao Cup this season.
He has netted five goals in three games to help fire the Gunners to the semi-finals, where they face Liverpool.
His latest goals in the competition saw him net his first senior club hat-trick in the 5-1 victory against Sunderland in last month’s quarter-final.
Nketiah has scored 18 goals in 71 appearances for the Gunners’ since being handed his first-team debut by Arsene Wenger in September 2017 in a Europa League match against BATE Borisov.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has previously intimated his desire to keep Nketiah at the club
Nketiah scored a League Cup hat-trick last month but is yet to start a league game this season
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is keen to keep hold of Nketiah but the odds appear against him with the youngster desperate for more first-team football.
‘I tell you every day that we want to keep Eddie,’ Arteta said last month.
‘We see how he trains, that’s what he does every day, he works so hard and puts the ball in the net every session. I am really delighted with him.
‘Every time we have needed him he has always responded.
‘We are trying (to persuade him to stay). It’s not about anything else but minutes. He wants game time, he wants to be on that field and that is the only reason to say “can I do it here?” That’s the question. We all want him to stay.’
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