West Ham signing Nketiah could be better than Watkins - McLeish

By Alex McLeish

12th May, 2022 | 11:23am

West Ham could sign Premier League striker better than Ollie Watkins after source reveal - pundit

Alex McLeish has suggested Arsenal hitman Eddie Nketiah could develop into a better striker signing for West Ham than Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins.

The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the Gunners’ 22-year-old has the potential to go “beyond” the levels of the Villans’ 26-year-old.

As first revealed by Football Insider on 6 April, West Ham have registered their interest in signing Nketiah as he heads into the final months of his contract.

The Daily Mail (9 May) claim the Irons are in pole position for his signing as Arsenal try to tie him down to a new deal.

Meanwhile, the Guardian (10 May) report that Watkins is a key target for David Moyes and that West Ham could test Villa’s resolve with a bid.

McLeish suggested while the Aston Villa ace is a more well-rounded centre-forward, Nketiah could prove the better signing long-term.

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“Watkins looks more like an out-and-out striker than Nketiah,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Whether that is to come from Nketiah remains to be seen. It looks as if he likes to be a wee bit deeper but Ollie likes to breach the last line of any defence.

“If Nketiah can get to that kind of level, and beyond even, he’s got that potential. If they play in a certain system then Nketiah can be an asset to any club with his late runs in the box and individual skills.

“It’s not surprising that the Hammers are going for players of this calibre.

“They have obviously raised the stakes as well due to the fact of the fantastic season that they’ve had in the league and the Europa League. They can’t afford to sit back on their laurels.”

Nketiah has scored nine goals in 24 appearances this season, 10 of which have been starts.

In other news, pundit makes bold Michail Antonio prediction at West Ham after transfer update.