Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Nketiah has right mentality to cope with hype surrounding him

Some Arsenal supporters may not have known much about Eddie Nketiah when he emerged off the bench against Norwich City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night but they certainly know all about him now following the youngster’s tremendous impact.

With two clinical finishes Nketiah underlined his potential and sent Arsenal into the quarter-finals of the competition, choruses of “Eddie, Eddie” ringing around Emirates Stadium.

It is an occasion that should be savoured, regardless of how Nketiah’s career turns out. It is something quite special for supporters to see a young player burst onto the scene and seize his opportunity.

There will now, of course, be a significant amount of hype about Nketiah and much more scrutiny of his performances, even at U23 level.

The good news is that Nketiah certainly possesses the correct mentality to cope with this situation.

A hard-working and focused individual, Nketiah has consistently impressed when progressing through the different age groups since joining from Chelsea and has continued to score with regularity regardless of the level he’s playing at.

Goalscoring is certainly the 18-year-old’s standout attribute but his overall game is also of a high standard. He has excellent tactical understanding, frequently making clever runs off the ball, and is capable of linking play effectively.

It seems likely that Nketiah, who impressed for Arsenal during pre-season, will continue to be eased in slowly to the first-team set-up in cup competitions this campaign, and he should feature in some capacity at home to Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League next week.

Prior to that Nketiah could be involved when Arsenal face Chelsea at U23 level tomorrow and enabling the youngster to step away from the limelight of first-team football could well be a positive after all the discussion about him in recent days.

Soon, though, he will be back involved in the squad and it will be interesting to see how Nketiah develops over the next couple of seasons as he becomes stronger physically and inevitably improves from training more regularly with the first-team.

There are, of course, examples of players such as Jay Simpson and Sanchez Watt, who were regulars on the scoresheet for Arsenal at youth level and also made an impact in the League Cup, only to ultimately fail to make the grade – Simpson is now playing for Philadelphia Union and Watt is without a club having been released by Crawley Town in the summer.

With Nketiah, there is a long way to go before any sort of decision has to be made about his long-term future.

For now, if he continues doing what he has always done, working hard and scoring goals, hopefully further opportunities will come in due course.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird



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Looking good. Hope he makes it, couldn’t have made a better start!


Can’t believe we had him, Mavididi and Malen at the same time. People rated Malen higher so it was a bit surprising when we sold him. Have high hopes for Mavididi as well. Good thing Wenger is easing the pressure on him


How has Sanchez Watt not got a club? Really thought he’d at least make it as a Championship level player.

Crash Fistfight

Really? I always thought he looked pony.


What happened to Zelalem?

Bould\'s Eyeliner

He became American

Andy Mack

On the odd day he’s not injured then he’s really very good.


Jay Simpson never played for the first team, Sanchez Watt scored on his debut. So a silly comparison really with Jay.
The problem as per usual is Wenger, any other team would give players like Eddie more opportunities then we could really judge. Not our Arsene, he will keep coming up with excuses why not to play him, loan him out then he will disappear and be forgotten about. Sad truths about how Wenger runs the team.

Carlos Alberto Mendez

Jay Simpson never played for the first team? Apart from when he scored two goals against Wigan in the League Cup on his full debut, you mean?


Wasn’t that a brace by Jeremie Aliadiere?


Seems harsh to me. Wenger has been pretty good at bringing through deserving prospects in my eyes.
The fact that those who left dissappear forgotten may just be reflective of the fact that they didn’t have what it takes. Of course I imagine there is more nuance but that’s the way I see it generally


That’s very harsh indeed… are you forgetting about Ashley Cole, fabianski, Szczesny, Bellerin, I Iwobi etc?

Andy Mack

Of the top teams, AW gives youngsters much (MUCH) more of a chance than any of the other teams…
Maybe that’s not enough, but as AW said, the PL is too competitive to take risks, so the only option has been the TinPot Cup, which we’ve flopped out of quite poorly far too often.


Like many Arsenal fans I did not know much about him, and was surprised when he was announced as the scorer of the first goal on Tuesday. However, he does look like the real deal. He can strike the ball with both feet, can head the ball, dribble and showed lightning pace in one burst that put him clear of their full back. He already has a lot more in his locker than say Theo Walcott, and its exciting to think he is still only 18. Hype or not, he is definitely one to watch.

Andy Mack

He showed those attributes in the pre-season games where he struck the post a few times and made space for others very nicely.

Teryima Adi

This guy Eddie is the real deal. Long may the goals keep coming. Amen

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