Eddie ready to fire Gunners forward after signing new Arsenal deal
Eddie Nketiah has been handed Thierry Henry's iconic No14 shirt after signing a long-term deal with Arsenal.
The forward, 23, had appeared destined to leave the Emirates this summer following the collapse of contract talks.
But with Crystal Palace reportedly preparing to swoop, some impressive performances towards the end of last season prompted the Gunners to reopen negotiations.
And boss Mikel Arteta was relieved to resolve the Londoner's future after seeing him net five goals in his final seven Premier League outings of 2021-22.
He said: "I’m delighted Eddie is staying with us. He represents what we are all about and all the values of the club.
"We are very happy he has extended his contract and now we have to get to work and continue to develop the great talent and person we have in him."
Nketiah added: "I'm delighted to have signed a new contract. Here to stay and can't wait to get started again."
Arteta has been short of senior strikers since ex-skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departed for Barcelona in January, while Alexandre Lacazette has since rejoined former club Lyon.
Though attacking reinforcements are expected before the start of the season, tying Nketiah down eases the pressure on Arsenal's recruitment drive.
And technical director Edu emphasised the importance of bedding in the club's academy graduates following the announcement of the highly-rated star's new deal.
He said: "The foundations of this squad are built on young talent and in particular those who have come through our academy system.
"Eddie was released by another club as a young man but has always shown he has the attitude as well as the ability to become a top player.
"The fact he’s signed a new contract is an important part of our squad planning for next season and we’re all delighted.”
Nketiah previously wore the No30 shirt but will now don the prestigious number Henry wore throughout his first spell with the Gunners.
Joining from Juventus in 1999, the Frenchman went on to become the club's record goalscorer during a glittering stay in North London.
He left for Barcelona eight years later but returned on a two-month loan from New York Red Bulls in January 2012.