Eddie Nketiah has thanked Arsene Wenger for the opportunity to strut his stuff in the Arsenal first team and revealed he dreams of emulating a trio of club legends.
The 18-year-old had the Emirates Stadium in raptures last night when he came off the bench on 85 minutes to score a winning brace, including a goal with his first touch, as the Gunners beat Norwich City 2-1 in the Carabao Cup.
Speaking after his dream home debut, the striker revealed his boyhood affection for the club and some of its previous maestros, including Thierry Henry, under whom he played at Academy level.
“I’m just thankful for the boss for giving me that opportunity to play and show what I can do – it’s a dream come true for me to get on and score not just one, but two goals to win us the game,” he told Arsenal Player.
“That’s the most important thing and I’m just thankful for all the fans for the support they gave me, it’s great. I’m a childhood fan of the club, so for the fans to get behind me like that is a dream come true, I’m delighted and grateful.
“It’s overwhelming [to hear the fans singing my name], but you have to remember you’re here for a job and try to stay focused on the game… but it’s a great feeling.
“I’ve always dreamt of this as a kid and hopefully they can continue to support me and I can continue to get chances and impress them really, that’s what it’s about.
“[I grew up watching] Thierry, Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright – they were all great strikers and attacking players and I watched them a lot, especially Thierry.
“When he was working with us [at the club] I used to work with him quite a bit on and off the field, so I’m just trying to emulate even a little bit of what they can do, that would a dream come true for me.”
You can watch a video of Eddie talking here. Given the excitement of the occasion, it’s amazing he’s able to speak so level-headedly about what just happened. Best of luck to him in the coming months, no doubt he’ll be eyeing further game time in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League.