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Nketiah warned off Premier League strugglers amid talk of Aston Villa loan for Arsenal striker

6:04 PM MYT 14/01/2020
Eddie Nketiah Arsenal 2019-20
Ex-Villans striker Darren Bent feels the youngster is too big a “risk” for Dean Smith, with the Championship a better landing spot for him in January

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has been linked with a loan switch to Aston Villa, but Darren Bent believes such a move would be too big a “risk” for all concerned.

The promising 20-year-old frontman finds himself back at Emirates Stadium in the January window.

The first half of the 2019-20 campaign was spent at Leeds, but regular starts proved to be hard to come by with the Championship promotion hopefuls.

Arsenal cut a season-long agreement with the Whites short as a result and intend to find another landing spot for their highly-rated academy graduate.

It has been suggested that he could link up with a Premier League rival of the Gunners.

Villa and Norwich, who find themselves battling against the drop, are looking to bring added firepower into their respective ranks.

Bent, though, feels that Nketiah would benefit more from another stint in the second tier, rather than being thrust into the pressure cooker of a scrap for survival.

The former Villans striker told talkSPORT: “I think Aston Villa, they don't need that right now. That is a risk. They need someone who can go in there and score goals now.

“(There is speculation) about (Christian) Benteke and I think that, for me, is the perfect one to go for.

“I know he's had a bit of a tough time at Crystal Palace. But I think the Aston Villa fans will get the best out of him, because they absolutely idolised him - he was the best thing ever when he was there.

“I think if he goes there and he feels that love again, he can start scoring.

“As far as Eddie Nketiah goes, I'd go somewhere like Bristol (City) or Sheffield Wednesday, a good Championship club that have aspirations of getting promoted. Not going to someone like Aston Villa or Norwich that are desperate for wins.”

Nketiah netted five times in 19 appearances for Leeds during his time at Elland Road.

He also has 19 senior appearances for Arsenal to his name, but faces fierce competition for places in north London.

There have been calls for him to be retained by the Gunners, especially with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang now serving a ban, but Mikel Arteta is expected to sanction another loan deal before the winter transfer deadline passes.