Arsenal risk angering club icon if he offers ‘Nketiah replacement’ Adam Hlozek | Soccer | sport
Arsenal could face club icon Tomas Rosicky by agreeing a deal for Sparta Prague striker Adam Hlozek this summer. The Gunners have been told to turn to Hlozek if they fail to tie Eddie Nketiah to a new contract. But Rosicky, Sparta’s sporting director, has already publicly disapproved of his potential exit at this stage of his career.
Nketiah started Arsenal’s last seven games of the season, scoring five goals, but played a small role for most of the campaign and often declared his desire for regular minutes. He appears set to leave Emirates Stadium on a free transfer once his contract expires in June, but Mikel Arteta’s recent show of faith has given the club hope he will commit to his future, The Athletic report.
If the 22-year-old decides to end his career at Arsenal, Arteta is likely to look to Hlozek to welcome the backup striker role next season. The Gunners are looking for a goalscorer ‘at the start of their development’ if Nketiah snubs a new deal and are seen as ‘strong admirers’ of the Czech international.
However, Rosicky thinks it would be too early for Hlozek to move away from Sparta, given that he is still only 19 years old. Europe as ‘too soon’ for striker.
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He told iSport: “I think it’s early for him to go somewhere. Let’s be patient, let him grow up. He’s 17, and if he keeps growing up, he’s sure to move to stranger. If anything happens, which I don’t expect, it will be too soon for him.”
Since joining Sparta’s academy, Hlozek made his debut aged 16 and has already made over 100 appearances for the club. He also scored his first goal for the Czech Republic national team against Belarus last October, earning 12 caps in total.
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A new striker is seen as a priority for Arteta this summer as Alexandre Lacazette also prepares to leave as a free agent. The exits of Nketiah and Lacazette would follow former club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who ended his contract to join Barcelona in January.
Arsenal are close to signing a starting striker and a replacement option, with Hlozek likely to fill the latter’s role. Alexander Isak, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Victor Osimhen, Lautaro Martinez, Tammy Abraham and Gianluca Scamacca have also recently been linked with the purchase of the Gunners marquee.
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