Nketiah: We don't need extra motivation for Spurs

Eddie Nketiah celebrates his goal against West Ham

For Eddie Nketiah, his current blistering form has been the product of patience, belief and giving his all every time he steps on the pitch.

Ever since a knee injury befell Gabriel Jesus at the World Cup, Eddie has stepped into the starting XI and thrived, scoring seven goals in all competitions.

"First of all, I wish him a very speedy recovery! We want [Jesus] back and we need him back for the team. For myself, I just go game by game. I know what I can do. I know what I can bring to the team. 

“It's just about working hard and giving my all to be able to contribute and help the boys. That’s all I look for and then obviously the future will look after itself."

A Hale End graduate, Eddie proved his potency in front of goal from the very beginning, scoring a vital brace on his senior debut in the Carabao Cup against Norwich City.

"I remember that game very clearly and I've relived that moment a lot with my family. It was a special moment - what dreams are made of,” he reminisced. 

Eddie Nketiah celebrates scoring against Norwich City on his debut with Rob Holding

“You couldn't make it up! To come on and score with my first touch was amazing and then to score again in the second half of extra time and win the game was obviously an amazing feeling. I always try to give my all every time I step on the pitch and thankfully I was able to contribute. That was a great debut. One that I'll always remember."

The manager who gave our striker that first chance was Arsene Wenger - a man Eddie  credits with helping him to flourish in the red and white.

"Arsene was a great manager. He always used to give me a lot of advice and a lot of confidence. He always used to say: be yourself and play your game. That’s information that's always stuck with me."

Back in the present, Eddie’s focus is set on his “favourite” derby: a clash with our biggest rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. 

“I've always been an Arsenal supporter. I joined the club at the age of 14 and I'm 23 now so I understand the important of the North London Derby. Nine years is a long time at the club. I've played in quite a few at youth level. I’ve played a couple at senior level so I know I know what it means.”

Our Gunners head to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Sunday in fine form, looking for our first away win against Spurs in almost ten years. The ghost of last year’s fixture doesn’t loom especially large for Eddie, however. 

"[Last time away at Spurs] wasn't the ideal game. We were in a good position, so obviously that was a disappointing loss and a disappointing end to the season. Of course, that game is in the back of our minds and we want to avenge that.

“At the same time, we just want the 3 points. We want to do it for the fans and every time you play Tottenham, you don’t need any extra motivation to be up for it. So it's just about giving our everything.”

Eddie Nketiah celebrates his goal against FC Zurich.jpg

“I’ve tried to focus on helping the team and improving as a player because I'm only 23 - I've still got a lot of years to grow and improve. So if I keep working and improving and growing at the rate I am, I'll definitely get to where I need to get to."

“We're in a really good place now,” Eddie continued. “The project we have at Arsenal is really exciting and so good to be part of. We’re playing well, we're in a good position and we've also got a lot of young players who still haven't reached their peak.

“It's a nice opportunity for us all to grow together and improve together and if we keep working day by day, we'll get to where we want to get to."

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