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Crystal Palace prioritise Arsenal forward as number-one target

Crystal Palace prioritise Arsenal forward as number-one target

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LEICESTER, ENGLAND: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal FC at The King Power Stadium on February 25, 2023. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal FC at The King Power Stadium on February 25, 2023. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace outlet The Eagles Beak report that Palace have identified Eddie Nketiah as their number-one target to lead the line this season.

Any potential move will rely on Jean-Philippe Mateta leaving to raise funds, but the goal is to have Nketiah competing with Odsonne Edouard up front.

Nketiah is currently on tour with Arsenal in America, and he recently started against Manchester United, but he has strong competition for a spot in the team at the moment.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal moves away from Amadou Onana of Everton during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on March 01, 2023. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal moves away from Amadou Onana of Everton during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on March 01, 2023. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Gabriel Jesus was Arsenal’s starting striker for much of last season, and Leandro Trossard got some chances when Jesus and Nketiah were out.

Folarin Balogun has returned from a strong loan spell to make his case, though he’s injured at the moment, and new signing Kai Havertz can also play up front, but he’s been used in midfield so far.

Nketiah has publicly insisted he isn’t willing to settle for a rotation role in the Arsenal squad.

“No I don’t think I have accepted (being a backup) and I will never accept that,” Nketiah said.

“That’s not my mentality. That’s not why I signed here to sit and be second best. I want to be the best, I want to play and that’s the mentality I have.

“I realise I might not play every game and that’s the coach’s decision but it’s never going to be my mentality to accept not playing.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates after the team's victory during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 22, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates after the team’s victory during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 22, 2023. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Nketiah made 39 appearances for Arsenal last season, scoring nine goals and assisting three.

With 1,859 minutes on the pitch, that works out at a goal or assist every 155 minutes on average.

If that turns out not to be enough to earn him a starting position at Arsenal, it’s not impossible the striker would consider a move to Crystal Palace.

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