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Eddie Nketiah

Eddie Nketiah 88
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
London, U.K

Edward Keddar Nketiah (born 30 May 1999) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Arsenal. Nketiah is a product of the Chelsea and Arsenal academies and played on loan at Leeds United in their victorious 2019–20 Championship season.

Born in London and raised in Lewisham, Nketiah started his career with Chelsea after being scouted at nine while playing for south-east London Sunday team Hillyfielders. Chelsea released him in 2015.

He then joined the Arsenal Academy and played for the club at youth levels. During the 2016–17 season, Nketiah scored 15 goals in 16 appearances for the under-18s while also scoring 12 goals in 26 appearances for the under-23 side. After that season, Nketiah was called up by Arsène Wenger for the senior side's pre-season trip to Australia and China.

On 28 September 2017, Nketiah was called up again to the senior side, this time for Arsenal's Europa League match against BATE Borisov. He came on as an 89th-minute substitute for Joe Willock as Arsenal won 4–2. His next appearance came nearly a month later against Norwich City in the League Cup as an 85th-minute substitute.

He scored after 15 seconds with his first touch to tie the match, adding another in extra time to win it for the Gunners. Nketiah was set for a loan move to German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg in January 2019 transfer window, but due to an injury to Danny Welbeck, Nketiah stayed at Arsenal.

He scored his first goal in the Premier League on the last day of the season at Burnley on 12 May 2019. Nketiah was an unused substitute in the UEFA Europa League final 4–1 defeat against Chelsea in 2018–19 final, with him receiving a runners-up medal. He started the 2019–20 pre-season regularly involved in the Arsenal first team, scoring four goals, including scoring in pre-season friendlies against Bayern Munich and Fiorentina.

On 8 August 2019, the summer deadline day for Championship clubs, Nketiah joined Leeds United on loan for the 2019–20 season. He chose the squad number 14 in homage to one of his former Arsenal youth coaches, Thierry Henry. Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa described Nketiah upon signing as a "young, important player in English football".

He made his debut for the club on 13 August in the EFL Cup against Salford City, scoring his side's first goal during a 3–0 victory. He then scored on his Championship debut the following week, netting the only goal of the game against Brentford.

He continued his goal-scoring form on 27 August 2019, with his third of the season, scoring in Leeds' EFL Cup match against Stoke City in a 2–2 draw in normal time, with Nketiah scoring also in the ensuing penalty shootout, with Leeds losing 4–5 on penalties.

After scoring his fourth goal of the season in Leeds 2–0 win against Barnsley on 15 September 2019, Bielsa described Nketiah as a "complete player". After being behind Patrick Bamford in the pecking order, Marcelo Bielsa revealed Nketiah would have his chance to become the first-choice striker against Queens Park Rangers, however, the day before the game Nketiah picked up a lower abdomen injury, which kept him out of action for one month. He returned from injury after one month out injured on 7 December, as a substitute in Leeds' 2–0 victory against Huddersfield Town.

His first league start for Leeds came on 29 December 2019, in a dramatic 4–5 victory over Birmingham City. Nketiah also started the next game on New Year's Day 2020, in what would prove to be his final game for Leeds at West Bromwich Albion in a 1–1 draw. The result kept Leeds on top of the table on goal difference.

After that match on the first day of 2020, Nketiah was recalled from his loan spell early by Arsenal. He was on the starting lineup in Arsenal's FA Cup Fourth Round victory against A.F.C. Bournemouth on 27 January. Nketiah scored the second goal of the match which Arsenal won 2–1 at the Vitality Stadium, progressing to the fifth round.

Nketiah made his first Premier League start, at home to Newcastle United, before scoring in the next game against Everton, sliding a volley into the corner. He then scored at Portsmouth in the FA Cup fifth round, sealing a 2–0 win.

He became a regular in Arsenal's return to league play after the COVID-19 hiatus, starting in the team's 3–0 loss at Manchester City, being replaced in the 67th minute by Alexandre Lacazette. On 7 July 2020, Nketiah received the first red card of his playing career, in a league game against Leicester City.

In July, Nketiah picked up the first major medal of his career as Leeds United were declared winners of the English Championship. The 19 games Nketiah participated in at the start of the season were enough to be eligible for a winning medal. Two weeks later, Nketiah lifted the first major trophy of his career with Arsenal, coming on as a substitute in the 82nd minute in the 2–1 victory over London rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

On 28 August 2020, Nketiah was in the starting 11 in the 2020 FA Community Shield, in which Arsenal clinched a 5–4 victory over Liverpool in the penalty shootout after the match was 1–1 after 90 minutes. On 19 September, he came on as a substitute in the 77th minute and scored the late winning goal in a 2–1 win against West Ham United in the Premier League, which was also his first goal in the 2020–21 season.

On 21 December 2021, Nketiah scored the first hat-trick of his career in a 5-1 win against Sunderland in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

Nketiah is eligible for both England and Ghana national sides at the international level. Nketiah made his international debut for England at the U18 level, playing a match against Saudi Arabia U19 on 22 March 2017. He scored the second goal for England in the 58th minute as they won 2–0. In his next match, against Qatar U19, Nketiah scored a hat-trick as England won 4–0.

In November 2017, Nketiah scored four goals for the England under-19 team in a qualifier for the 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championship against the Faroe Islands. Nketiah was one of a number of players withdrawn from selection for the tournament by their club.

On 18 May 2018, Nketiah received his first call up to the England U21 team by manager Aidy Boothroyd for the Toulon Tournament. Nketiah scored twice in the semi-final against Scotland and provided the assist for Kieran Dowell to score the winning goal against Mexico in the final.

In January 2019, Nketiah reportedly turned down a call up from Ghana manager James Kwesi Appiah to the senior Ghana national side, with Nketiah favoring England. In September of the next year, Nketiah captained England U21s for the first time and scored a hat-trick during a 6–0 victory over Kosovo U21s.

In August 2020, Ghana reportedly approached Nketiah again, making contact with his family and speaking with his parents in an attempt to persuade him to switch allegiance to Ghana. However, Nketiah later stated that he was "grateful" for the opportunity to play for England.

On 7 October 2020, Nketiah equaled Alan Shearer's goalscoring record of 13 for the England U21s by scoring in a 3–3 draw against Andorra. Nketiah went on to break that record with the second goal of a 2–1 win over Turkey at Molineux Stadium on 13 October 2020; a victory that secured England's place at the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Nketiah was ultimately named as England captain for that tournament which ended with a group-stage exit.

Nketiah is known for his pace and movement, his style has been compared to former Arsenal striker Ian Wright. In August 2019 he described Wright as his "mentor".

His playing style was also compared to Jermain Defoe, due to his movement to play off the last defender's shoulder and his sharp shooting ability from all angles. Nketiah can play as a striker or as a wide forward, with Nketiah describing his own playing style as 'I'm a striker, I'm brave, I like to put myself in the places where the chances are going to fall'.