You might have seen images this week of 2019 Eddie Nketiah alongside 2022 Eddie Nketiah (view here on Instagram).
The striker’s physique has changed considerably, he’s built muscle and looks stronger than he did. In some ways that’s to be expected as a person matures physically out of their teenage years, but it’s also the consequence of a lot of hard work, and something the 23 old paid a lot of attention to.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the North London derby, he revealed it was a deliberate plan to help him deal with the physicality of the Premier League.
“It’s something I’ve really worked on over the last couple of years, mostly in the dark but it’s come to light now,” he said.
“The robustness of the Premier League is really high. You’re always playing against big, physically strong centre-backs, so, for me, I felt like, coming through, the difference between the U23s or the U18s, was that physicality.
“Being able to have the frame to do the things I was doing at youth level – taking the ball, holding the ball, turning – you need that level of competitiveness in terms of strength.
“Adding that has allowed me to show more sides to my game. I can still get bigger. I’m only 23 and that will come naturally as well. But it’s something I’ve consciously worked on and it’s paying dividends at the moment.”
With four goals in four starts since he came in to replace the injured Gabriel Jesus, Eddie is eyeing a goal against the old enemy at White Hart Lane, but first and foremost he’s determined to help the team take all three points away for the first time since 2014.
“It’s Tottenham, we’ve got to win,” he said. “That’s always the mentality. All the boys are fired up. They know what we need to do, they know how important the game is and how much it means to the fans.
“”Of course, I’m going to give everything for myself, for the fans, for my family, to get those three points.
“If I can score as well, that would be an amazing feeling.”