Eddie Nketiah reminded Mikel Arteta of his ability with two goals in Wednesday night’s victory over Chelsea, however it’s more than likely that Arsenal will still be in the market for at least one new forward this summer
As it stands, Nketiah will leave at the end of this campaign when his current deal expires. However, his performance on Wednesday might have changed that, as hinted at by Mikel Arteta following his side’s victory.
“If there is one player that I have been unfair with I think it’s him,” I explained.
“He has given me every right to do something different, and if Eddie doesn’t play more, it’s my fault and because as a manager I missed something or I haven’t had the courage to play him more. Today he showed me more how wrong I was.”
Even if Arsenal do opt to give Nketiah a new deal, bringing in at least one new forward will remain a priority as Arteta looks to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who departed in January, and Alexandre Lacazette who looks almost certain to leave on a free at the end of this campaign too.
Although Lacazette has struggled in front of goals since the turn of the year, finding the back of the net only once, he remains a key Arsenal player and a difficult profile to replace. This is because beyond finishing moves, the Frenchman will often play a key role in building them.
He’s intelligent in his movement, great at dropping in between the lines to link play and also good at creating spaces for other attackers to exploit. This means any replacement arguably needs to offer more than just an ability to score goals.
That’s why Rennes forward Martin Terrier could, and probably should, be on Arsenal’s transfer radar.
Terrier already boasts the likes of Lille and Lyon on his playing CV, however the truth was that he didn’t really excel with either. He was allowed to join Rennes from Lyon in the summer of 2020 for just over £10million.
That now looks like a bargain based on Frenchman’s development across these past two years though. In his first full campaign with Rennes, he scored nine league goals while registering a further seven assists. This season, he’s scored over double that (20), with three games still to go.
Impressively, only two of those goals arrived from the penalty spot and his total of 18 non-penalty league goals is the fourth-highest across Europe’s top five leagues. He matching the likes of Karim Benzema while bettering Premier League stars such as Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min.
What should attract Arsenal to Terrier beyond this impressive goal return is his all-round skill set which allows him to play a number of different positions comfortably. The six-foot striker has featured as a centre-forward, as a second-striker, as an attacking midfielder and even on the wing.
It’s in the latter on the left in which he has thrived most this season, starting wide before drifting inside and picking up clever locations inside the attacking third or making late runs into the penalty area to latch onto through balls.
Terrier may be largely drifting under the radar for many top sides given that he’s not yet a blockbuster name on the European scene. Yet his ability for him to play different attacking roles while also bringing a ruthless edge in front of goal would make him a very shrewd accusation should Arsenal opt to make a move.