Edward Nketiah was the savior for Arsenal against Norwich City in the Carabao Cup round of 16 clash. He came from the bench as a substitute and had scored two very important Goals for his team to take his team to the quarter final of this prestigious tournament.
The youngster of Arsenal is only 18 year old. He was born on 20th May,1999. The boy had started to play for Chelsea at the beginning of his career but they had released him in the Under 14 level. Then he had got offer from Arsenal and played for Arsenal in both the under 18 and Under 23 level.
‘I don’t know what happened at Chelsea,’ Wenger said. ‘He has scored goals at youth level and sometimes I don’t know why they let him go.’
‘I don’t know why. You see that more and more. Young people travel from one club to another. I don’t know.’ , he added.
Nketiah was also happy to get a chance to play for Arsenal that time for a special reason.
The day Arsenal showed they were interested in me was one of the happiest days I can remember,’ Nketiah said.
‘It wasn’t only because I’ve always been an Arsenal fan, but two days earlier I was told that I would be released by Chelsea and not given a scholarship for this season. I was so down, but then Arsenal found out I was available, contacted my family and invited me to train.’
‘Within a week I was told that I would be offered a scholarship. I think it is important to bounce back quickly from disappointment and Arsenal gave me the opportunity to do that.’
He had joined Arsenal in 2015. He had been influential for Arsenal Under 18 and Under 23 teams last season and hence got the chance to have a practice session with the senior team of Arsenal from this season. He had made his first appearance for Arsenal against Bate Borisov in the Europa League match coming as a substitute. Then again he had got his chance against Norwich City in the Carabao Cup round of 16 game coming as a substitute this time also but had scored two vital Goals for the team to see his team through to the next round.
Nketiah certainly impressed one former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry with his performance last night. He twitted,
‘What a night for @EddieNketiah9. So happy for him and not surprised at all!’
‘Thanks Thierry – means a lot,’ Nketiah replied back the Arsenal Legend in the Twitter handle.
Straight after the match itself, Nketiah sounded really happy about his performance in the match. He said,
‘I’m delighted first of all to make my home debut and to get on a score two goals and win the match for Arsenal FC is a great feeling for me and my family.
‘I’m just so happy that I could hear the fans screaming my name and it’s been a childhood dream for me and I just want to keep pushing on and hopefully you’ll see more goals and many better performances from me.
‘It made me feel very privileged to be welcomed in by the fans like that and it’s a dream come through as I said
‘I just want to keep impressing the fans and making them happy because they mean a lot to this club and they mean a lot to me so hopefully I can keep pushing forward.’
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was really surprised with youngster’s performance in the last match.
“No I can’t remember [a similar impact by a teenager], in a game like that,” Wenger said.
“I know he has the qualities, but when a team needs you and you can deliver, that’s another quality that you don’t know before you put a player on. And he’s shown that,” Wenger said. “I like especially the header he scored, because he is not tall.
“Heading is a determined attitude, so that shows as well character and a desire to score.”
But Wenger was also very cautious about the young lad. He would not like a talented boy like Nketiah to be remembered for ‘one match wonder’. He told,
“Let’s not be too quick,” Wenger said. “One of the big problems in modern society is to give them time to develop and not making stars too quickly.”
“Unfortunately that happens now, yes. I must say I am impressed by that, to think that he was not even conceived when I was already here,” Wenger said. “But it’s good as well because life gives chance to young people.
“And hopefully he will make a long career at Arsenal football club. We are proud to give a chance to young players, it’s part of our DNA and we want to continue to do that.”
With his excellent performance in the Norwich City match we can expect this youngster to make it to the next level and will be a regular starter for Arsenal after successive performances like this whenever he will get the chance to show his talent in the field.