Reiss Nelson may be Arsenal’s standout youth player at present but he is far from the only prospect at the club who has a chance of succeeding in the long term.
Eddie Nketiah has been prolific in front of goal over the past couple of seasons, with the 18-year-old frequently finding the net regardless of the level he’s playing at.
Having featured for the first-team in pre-season, Nketiah has now gone back to playing for Arsenal’s U23 side and, based on his performances so far this campaign, it surely won’t be too long before he is afforded another opportunity to impress in the senior set-up.
While he is certainly best suited to playing as a central striker, the England youth international is capable of performing effectively in other positions.
Last season, for instance, he demonstrated that he can thrive in the number ten position, playing incisive through-balls forward and also pushing further upfield himself when the opportunity arises.
Furthermore Nketiah can make an impact when used on either flank and it is on the right wing that he has been playing in the past couple of U23 games.
From this position he can use his pace to cause all manner of problems for opposing defences, while he is capable of timing his passes to perfection.
In addition, playing out wide enables Nketiah to showcase his hard-working nature – he can track back defensively and close opponents down with regularity.
Above all, wherever he is played, Nketiah’s determination to make an impact is especially evident, with the starlet constantly seeking to improve.
Such an attitude will surely bode well for his chances of making the grade in the long-term but for now he will be hoping to make his competitive debut for the club in the coming weeks, with the Europa League and the League Cup representing potential opportunities for him to do just that.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird
I’m Itching to see more of this kid after preseason.
Can he do a solid job in central midfield? Attack when the opponent’s sitting ?, defend when we need to soak up pressure. If so he’ll ? into our starting lineup
back in the top 4 bitches
Get yourself over to Le Cunt. You will fit in well there
Oh oh, nketiah we need you so
My only concern is that under the present system, players who are too versatile (take the Ox for instance) leave themselves vulnerable to being expendable. I wonder if his career may be better served by honing his skills in a particular positon, both learning from and eventually challenging the first team players ahead of him in that specific role.
I don’t think you need to be worried. He’s definitely a striker. He’s such a natural finisher that there’s no way he’ll end up being anything else.
He looked great in pre-season. Wenger could take some of the heat off him and the team by giving a few of our more promising youth players some regular Prem game time.
Playing him on the right in the U23’s could be preparations to giving him a run on the right in the senior team, maybe in europe?
Fast, goal scoring, picks out a pass, hard working.
Theo better catch some form quickly, between Nelson and Nketiah here comes his competition for wing.
Sorry I missed that, wasn’t busy watching Nelson’s free kick.
We have a spot at LWB now
I like him, but I don’t like that word versatility, I think he should stick to one position, and only play in an other position if he has to
I desperately want a striker from our academy succeed at the club.
Lupoli, Afobe, Akpom..
I love Jeorge Bird’s articles
His website is invaluable for anyone who wants to follow our academy players!
(academy and youth players)