Press conference

‘Nketiah showed that he can deliver’

There was only one topic of conversation on Tuesday night: Eddie Nketiah.

The 18-year-old’s dream home debut, scoring twice as we beat Norwich, dominated Arsene Wenger’s post-match press conference.

This is what he said:

on what prompted him to bring on Nketiah…
The fact that we needed to score goals, that he can score goals and overall I think in the end we had eight strikers on the pitch basically. He has shown that he has the qualities, but as well when a team needs you and you can deliver that is another quality that you don’t know before you put the players on. I like especially the header he scored because he is not tall and we see the way he took it shows he has a fantastic leap, but as well the heading is a determined attitude and so that as well shows character and desire to score.

on whether he reminds him of a young Ian Wright…
Let’s not be too quick, one of the problems nowadays is that people are very quick [to make a judgement]. He has qualities, he has top qualities and he is one of the players who was with us in pre-season and that’s why I knew that he could give us something when he comes on.

on Nketiah not being born when Arsene first joined the club….
Unfortunately that happens now yes! I must say I’m impressed by that [fact], to think that he was not even conceived when I was already here, but it’s good as well because life gives chances to young people and hopefully he will make a long career at Arsenal. We are proud to give a chance to young players, it’s a part of our DNA and we want to continue to do that.

on how he got Nketiah…
I don’t know what happened at Chelsea, but with us he has scored goals at the youth level. We see that more and more nowadays that young people travel from one club to the other and I don’t know the real reasons.

on whether he can remember a youngster having such an impact…
No, I can’t remember a game like that, no.

on whether he will consider Eddie for Premier League selection…
You don’t rule anything out. As I told you, he has played today 40 minutes. So one of the big problems in modern society as well is to give them time to develop and not to be too quick and not making stars too quickly.

on if he was tempted to start Eddie in the game…
Yes, but I have players who need competition as well. This team played in Belgrade in a very physical game and I think we were not completely sharp, as we have been last week. These players, like Iwobi, who can play in the same position, they need competition.

on if he has spoken to Eddie since full-time…
I haven’t spoken to him. I just congratulated him, because all of the players came in together. I think I’ll let him cool down a little bit.

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