With the season about to enter its final week, Eddie Nketiah believes that he’ll look back on the 2022/23 campaign as a hugely successful one collectively, as well as individually.
The striker found himself at a crossroads last summer with his contract running down, but he opted to stay at the club by signing a new deal. That has proven to be a wise decision as he went on to play a major role in our title challenge, and will now get the opportunity to play in the Champions League for the first time in his career.
With all that in mind, he feels that had someone offered the season we’ve just enjoyed 12 months ago, he would have happily accepted it. It has left him feeling excited and optimistic for the future, as our young squad continue to learn from new experiences and develop together in their quest for even better times to come.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Premier League, he said: “I’m sure you would have looked at it as a season of progress, which is how we’re looking at it. We were there, we were fighting and we obviously still wanted to be at the top, but I think we can all look back and see a season of progress and reflect on it as a good year.
“It’s hard to predict what might happen coming into the season, but we had a lot of faith in ourselves and we knew we’d grown as a team from last year. I think it’s been a year where things started to click for us, especially in the way we wanted to play, the terms Mikel has taught us to play and the philosophy we believe in.
“That has all come together, as well as the support from the fans. The atmosphere at the Emirates this season has been amazing, and has really rallied us on in some of the games.
“It’s all little things piecing together, and we still have a long way to go which is the exciting thing. We have a lot of young players that haven’t reached their peak yet, and with time we’ll get there together.”
On a personal level, Eddie has found the net nine times, with many coming during a crucial time in the winter following Gabriel Jesus’ knee injury. The Hale End product stepped up to score some crucial goals, including a last-gasp winner to beat Manchester United in January to complete a run of scoring seven times in seven games.
Those were the kind of moments and situations he wanted to be in when he was weighing up his options a year ago, and he is thrilled that he gets to experience them at the club he supported all his life.
Reflecting on how the season has panned out for himself, he said: “It’s been good, there’s been a lot of highlights. When I came back into the team after the break around December, I had a really good two or three months where I was playing regularly, scoring goals and helping the team in big matches which was really good.
“I had a little injury and missed a bit of the end of the season but I think overall, looking at the season it's been a positive one. I’ve had a good impact in a title-contending team so I’m happy with my progress and I know I’ve still got so much more to give which is the exciting thing. I’m just working hard to keep pushing and achieving things with the club.
“I love the club and I’ve supported them all my life. To come out onto the pitch, fight for this badge and really achieve things for this club is great. Every day I’m grateful for this opportunity and I thank God every day. It’s just about continuing to progress, helping the team and setting your own legacy.”
Hear much more from Eddie in the Premier League’s Big Interview by pressing play above, including:
- learning from Thierry Henry
- the four world-class managers he’s played for
- swapping Chelsea’s academy for ours
- where he can improve
- his hopes for next season and beyond
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