Exclusive: Arsenal star Eddie Nketiah reveals why he turned down big offers to stay at Gunners

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 24, 2023 in London, England.
(Image credit: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has explained to FourFourTwo why he chose not to pursue big offers from other clubs – and remain at the Emirates Stadium.

The 24-year-old forward first broke into Arsene Wenger's team but has had to wait patiently for his chances in the Arsenal first team. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were both signed ahead of him – and in 2022, he had the opportunity to leave on a free transfer.

Knowing that he might not be Mikel Arteta's first-choice striker, Nketiah signed a new contract regardless, telling FFT that a huge part of the decision was made by his heart.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on September 29, 2023 in St Albans, England.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had a vision for Nketiah, according to the striker himself (Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

"It was just my love for the club," he says now. "London’s home, the club is home, but I’ve been an Arsenal fan all my life and that played a big part.

"Talking to the manager and the plans he had for me, and the fact he needed me… I knew I wanted to learn, develop and help this club."

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Nketiah was born in Lewisham and has been a Gooner all his life – even as a youngster in the Chelsea academy, where he was released alongside Declan Rice – who he's now team-mates with in the Gunners side. 

Not only is it a lifetime goal for him to play Champions League football, Nketiah says that out of any club he's excited to see in the competition… it's his own.

Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal arrives at the stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League match between Arsenal FC and PSV Eindhoven at Emirates Stadium on September 20, 2023 in London, England.

Nketiah has fulfilled a lifetime ambition by reaching the Champions League with his boyhood club (Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

"I’m buzzing to be involved in the Champions League – I’ve never played at the Bernabeu so that would be an experience…" he says. 

"But I just want to hear that theme tune at the Emirates. I know what the fans are feeling, and what it means to be part of Arsenal."

More Arsenal stories

Declan Rice has exclusively revealed to FourFourTwo why he chose to sign for Arsenal this summer.

FFT also caught up with former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey, who explained why he turned down a move to the Saudi Pro League in favour of re-joining Cardiff City.

Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsdale has been labelled 'f*cking weird' by one of his ex-Gunners teammates.

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