Date: 2nd December 2021 at 4:13pm
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Arsenal travel to Old Trafford on Thursday, knowing that victory over Manchester United will move them in to the Champions League places.

Following West Ham’s draw with Brighton at the London Stadium on Wednesday, a win over United would allow Mikel Arteta’s side to leapfrog the Hammers into the top four.

After a disastrous start to the campaign in which they lost their opening three matches without scoring a goal, Arteta’s side have since been one of the division’s form sides, losing just once and winning seven of their ten games since then.

Youngsters Emile-Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have been in particularly good form for the Gunners, while Gabriel Martinelli also grabbed his first league goal of the season during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle at The Emirates.

One youngster who is not enjoying such a successful season, however, is Eddie Nketiah.

Touted as the heir to Thierry Henry during his prolific time in the club’s academy, the striker has struggled since progressing into the senior side, scoring just five times in 38 Premier League appearances.

This term, the Englishman is yet to play a single minute of top flight action, with his only appearances coming in Carabao Cup victories over AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United.

Nketiah’s lack of playing time has fuelled speculation that he will leave North London in January, and those rumours will only have been catalysed by recent reports.

As per Sky Sports, the young striker, who has scored 15 Arsenal goals and 16 in 17 matches for England U-21s, has rejected an offer from his current employers to extend his stay in the capital.

Both of Nketiah’s goals and starts this season have come in the League Cup.

The report suggests that, despite his almost complete exodus from the first team squad, Arsenal do still want to keep hold of the promising forward, who averaged a goal-per-game in the U-18 Premier League.

Nketiah’s decision to refuse the offer is, however, believed to be based solely on his playing time, rather than financial or other reasons.

While the 22-year-0ld has more than six months remaining on his current deal, he would be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with any foreign club in January, and Arsenal may well opt to cash in on the player in the new year to avoid losing him for free next summer.

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