Eddie Nketiah has penned a new long-term contract with Arsenal, while also moving to take the number 14 shirt at Emirates Stadium made iconic by Thierry Henry.
The Hale End academy graduate was due to be available as a free agent following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season but established himself as a core member of Mikel Arteta’s side in the latter stages of the Premier League campaign.
Five goals in the final seven matches of the league campaign, during which Arsenal sealed a return to European competition with qualification for next season’s Europa League campaign, proved his worth to the club.
“I’m delighted Eddie is staying with us. He represents what we are all about and all the values of the club,” Arteta told the club’s website.
“We are very happy that he has extended his contract, and now we have to get to work and continue to develop the great talent and person that we have in him.”
The number 14 shirt taken by Nketiah was last worn by former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Theo Walcott the only other player to use the number since Henry left for Barcelona in 2007.
Technical director Edu also hailed the significance of the new deal penned by Nketiah, who is the all-time leading scorer for England Under-21s side with 16 goals in 17 caps.
“The foundations of this squad are built on young talent and in particular those who have come through our academy system,” Edu said.
“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.”
Arsenal begin the new season against Crystal Palace on August 5 in the curtain raiser for the 2022-23 Premier League campaign.