Feature

'Confidence is everything for a striker'

I thought my first season as a scholar went well for me. I developed as a player and scored 28 goals in all.

Confidence is everything for a striker and that self-belief helps you get more goals. You feel you will score with every chance you get and what I had in my first year I’ve managed to carry on this season. I was proud to have scored so many goals as I was still young but settled in quickly, got into a rhythm and enjoyed my first year so much. I signed a professional contract on September 1 and that showed the club had faith in me and gave me even more of a boost.

I achieved the contract through working hard and trying to keep improving, and as a professional that’s something that I’m determined to keep doing because it takes me a step closer to the first team and I know how high the standards are. I’ve trained quite a few times with the first team now and you see how everything is faster and sharper. Playing against strong defenders like Laurent Koscielny, you have to be concentrated and use good movement to get away from him.

Francis Coquelin is also a player I’ve learnt a lot from because he drops in and helps out the defence and I’ve had to try and find ways to deal with that to get into spaces and create and take chances.

I really enjoy training with the first team and the practice games especially. I’ve scored a couple past Petr Cech, which I was happy about, because he’s such a top class ‘keeper. I know it was a training game, but it still gives me the belief that if I can score past him, I can do the same against any goalkeeper.

I watch our strikers a lot too and I’m working towards being as complete a player as possible. My game is mainly pace, movement and finishing, but I’ve made an effort to hold the ball up better which is something vital for the team and that Olivier Giroud does so well. I have also worked hard on my heading and have already scored three headed goals this season.

The games I’ve played for the under-23s and the under-19s have been a great help too because it’s faster and a higher standard, you learn to be that much quicker and cleaner. My reactions are quicker and my work to help win the ball higher up the pitch has improved. My runs are better, so when I do drop back into the under-18s, it feels so much easier. It feels like I have a lot more time to express myself.

My targets this year are to try and play as many games for the under- 23s and under-19s as possible, and of course train as regularly as I can with the first team, because it all helps my development and, ultimately, my performances too when I play for the under-18s.

THE LOWDOWN

Eddie signed his first professional contract with the club in the summer of 2015

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My dad.

What's the best aspect of your game?
Finishing.

And what do you still need to work on?
Heading.

Which team did you support as a boy?
Arsenal.

Who did you pretend to be in the playground?
Ronaldinho.

Which current player would you most like to play against?
Neymar.

If you score any goal from history, which one would it be?
Thierry Henry vs Manchester United

What's been the greatest moment in your career so far?
Signing pro for Arsenal. 

If you had to sign one song to save your life, what would it be?
Sarkodie - Adonai
 

TEAM-MATES

(left to right) Marcus McGuane, Nathan Tella, Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, Tolaji Bola, Ben Sheaf, Josh Dasilva

Who has the best sense of humour?
Joe Willock.

Who has the best engine?
Tobi Omole.

Who has the worst ball skills?
Tolaji Bola.

Who has the best ball skills?
Reiss Nelson.

Who is the best with the ladies?
Kris Da Graca.

Who is the worst at FIFA?
Jordi Osei-Tutu.

Fixtures

Friendly Match
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International Champions Cup
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Results

Premier League
Premier League