Eddie Nketiah will not go out on loan this month and instead will remain at Arsenal for the rest of the season, despite strong interest in the striker from across the Championship.
The 20-year-old spent the first half of the season with Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United, and while he scored three goals for the club across 17 appearances, the majority of those came off the bench.
It was a lack of regular action in the starting lineup in Yorkshire that prompted Arsenal to cut his season-long loan deal short, with it thought another move to a Championship side would follow. Nketiah held talks with Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, but following discussions with Mikel Arteta, he looks set to remain at the Emirates Stadium.
According to the Telegraph's John Percy, he will be given a chance by the Spanish head coach, with the Gunners fighting on three different fronts in this campaign. They've reached the fourth round of the FA Cup, as well as the knockout stages of the Europa League, and are aiming to improve on their lowly tenth place standing in the Premier League
The decision to keep Nketiah in north London could be a direct result of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's upcoming three-match suspension. Arsenal's top scorer was given his marching orders for a horror tackle on Max Meyer in the recent 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace and despite an appeal by the club to have his suspension reduced, the decision was not overturned.
Aubameyang's absence will leave a gaping hole in Arteta's attack, with the Gabon forward netting 14 of the club's 29 goals in the league this season. That means Nketiah may get some first-team minutes during the weekend's top-flight encounter against Sheffield United, before a crucial trip across London to take on rivals Chelsea.
An FA Cup tie against Bournemouth is the final match of his ban, another clash in which Nketiah may get a run out, with plenty of fixtures before the end of the season for him to make an impression on Arteta. On the final day of last season Nketiah grabbed his first and only Premier League goal to date, scoring against Burnley at Turf Moor.
Source : 90min