By Noel Whelan

24th Dec, 2021 | 4:38pm

Nketiah could complete Arsenal transfer next week amid 'big-money' claim - pundit

Noel Whelan has tipped Eddie Nketiah to leave Arsenal and “forge his career” elsewhere.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted it is time for the 22-year-old “goal machine” to move onto pastures new.

According to the Daily Mail (22 December), Nketiah has rejected Arsenal’s advances regarding a new contract and remains on course to depart the London club when his contract expires next summer.

The report claims West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Brighton are all monitoring the striker.

The 22-year-old scored a hattrick as Arsenal claimed their place in the League Cup semi-finals with a 5-1 win against Sunderland on Tuesday (21 December).

When asked if Nketiah had put himself in the shop window with his display, Whelan told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “Oh yes, absolutely.

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“He’s already in the shop window. He’s proven himself to be a goal machine in these cup games, even if he doesn’t get too many opportunities in the Premier League.

“I think the time has come now for him to move on from Arsenal and try and get that first-team football elsewhere, and I think he realises that.

Whether it’s a pre-contract in the January window, or a move in the summer – it’s the right time.

“He could easily sign another contract at Arsenal and sit on the bench, taking big money in the process. But I think he wants to get out there and forge his career – let’s not forget he is still young.”

Fellow Arsenal hitman Alexandre Lacazette is also out of contract next summer.

The pair can pen pre-contract agreements with foreign clubs on 1 January.

In other news, an injury expert has dropped a ‘massive’ claim on an Arsenal star amid fears of a muscle ‘tear’