You are here: HomeSports2017 10 26Article 594352

Sports News of Thursday, 26 October 2017

Source: Ghana Soccernet

Eddie Nketiah: The Chelsea reject, now Arsenal's corner stone

Arsenal looked to be down and out in their Carabao Cup home game against Norwich City, heading to the end of another halfhearted quest for Arsene Wenger to win the trophy for the first time in his career. That was until Eddie Nketiah was introduced.

The 18-year-old scored with his very first touch, latching onto a deflected corner to tap home the equaliser before firing Arsenal into the lead in extra time with a close-range headed effort.

Not only did he give Arsenal a place in the quarter-finals, he etched his name into the history books by becoming the first player born after Arsene Wenger's tenure started to score for the club.

Here, Sportsmail runs through the key questions Arsenal fans are asking about their new striker.

Where has he come from?

Born in Lewisham, south London, Nketiah made his first steps into football with the Chelsea academy. However, he was released by the Blues in 2015 with youth coaches concerned by his lack of physical presence.



Arsenal invited him for a week-long trial soon after and, seriously impressed with his talent, quickly offered him a youth contract.

Wenger said: 'I don't know what happened with Nketiah at Chelsea but he has scored goals with us.'

What is his playing style?

Hopeful Arsenal fans have already compared the teenager to club legend Thierry Henry, but any speedy striker capable of playing on the flanks is likely to get that tagline.

Unlike Henry, Nketiah is growing a knack for being in the right place at the right time to tap in loose balls, much more like a Francis Jeffers 'Fox in the Box'.

As for Henry himself, it appears he already had an inkling that this breakthrough was coming...

How has he done in Arsenal's youth ranks?



Well. Seriously well.

After quickly establishing himself in the Under 18 squad, Nketiah scored 24 goals in his debut season, finishing as their top scorer. He even appeared for the Under 23 squad before the 2015-16 campaign was finished.

In his second season, he netted 15 goals in 16 appearances for the Under 18s, three goals in four appearances for the Under 19s and six goals in 13 appearances for the Under 23 side, the last of which included a spectacular hat-trick against Leicester.

He was then invited to Arsenal's pre-season tour of Asia and impressed Arsene Wenger enough to earn a place in the fringes of the senior squad. He made his debut in the Europa League against BATE Borisov, in which he played a solitary minute.

Is he an international superstar in the making?

He could be.

He's already fired two hat-tricks for England at two different age groups this year. A goal on debut for the England Under 18s against Saudi Arabia was followed by a hat-trick against Qatar.

The Under 19s came calling and he soon established himself in the team with another hat-trick, this time against Poland in a 7-1 thrashing.

What does Arsene Wenger have to say about him?

After the game, Wenger said: 'Nketiah was with me in pre-season and that's why I knew that he could give us something.

'He can score goals. I know his quality but when the team needs you and you can deliver that's another quality. I know Nketiah can score a goal. And I know he has character. He smells the combination to give-and-go. He has quality of reception.'

When do the links to Manchester City begin?

Woah. Hold your horses there.

Pep Guardiola may have be having luck coaxing the South American Alexis Sanchez away from the Emirates, but Nketiah is a born and bred Arsenal fan.

He signed his first professional contract with the club last summer and Wenger may already be thinking about an extension.



Send your news stories to and features to . Chat with us via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625.

Join our Newsletter