Eddie Nketiah

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Interview

Nketiah - What we’re learning in the cup

Although he’s been involved with the first team this season, Eddie Nketiah’s eyes are still firmly focused making the most of his opportunities with the under-23s.

We beat Porto 1-0 in our opening game of the Premier League International Cup and then drew 0-0 with Reading on Thursday night, ahead of our final group game against Bayern Munich.

Following the draw with the Royals, here is what Nketiah had to say:

on the performance…
I think in the first half we were maybe a but slow with it, the tempo was a bit slow and we didn’t play to our best, but in the second half we grew into the game and created more chances. There were a couple of offside calls that were 50:50 and unfortunately didn’t go our way, but I thought it was a better performance in the second half.

on whether we lacked cutting edge…
Maybe, I though that when I went up front I could contribute a bit better and I was in my natural position playing better, so I felt like I created more chances, but it unfortunately wasn’t our day today and we’ll move on to the next one.

on remaining unbeaten in the Premier League International Cup…
That’s a good thing, to keep going and getting the points in and I’m not sure who we’re playing next, but we’ll go there with the same mentality and try and break them down to win the match.

on playing against foreign opposition…
It’s different because we don’t really know too much about them, so it’s a good challenge and something different that we can adapt to. We’ll go into it like any other game and try and give our best and get a good result.

on his time with the first-team…
It’s been brilliant to get involved with the first-team and I’m hoping for a few more appearances and a few more goals. There’s a game coming up next Thursday and hopefully I’ll be involved, so I will try to do my best if I’m given the opportunity.

on how being with the first-team has helped him…
I feel like I have a bit more experience, I feel like I’m improving every time I train and play there, so it’s just allowed me to play better for the under-23s, so hopefully I can kick on and do well for both age groups.

Interview

Nketiah - I feel sharp and read the game better

In scoring a brace on Monday night against Manchester United for our under-23s, Eddie Nketiah took his goals tally to 54 since the start of the 2015/16 season.

Following the 4-0 win at Meadow Park, the forward spoke with Arsenal.com and here is what he had to say:

on how it felt to get another two goals…
It was great to get another two goals, getting back with the under-23s and getting some game time in. We got the win tonight, which is the most important thing and I’m just happy to have been able to contribute with some goals, it’s always nice.

on his understanding with his team-mates…
Reiss, Joe, Josh and I train together a lot and I’ve developed a real understanding with them. It’s always fun to play with them and they’re great players, so it’s easier for me.

on how his first-team experiences have helped him…
It’s great to get to work with the first team so often, I feel better, sharper technically and I feel like I read the game better, so every time I go over there it helps me when I come back to the under-23s.

on still focusing on under-23s despite his first-team opportunities…
Wherever I’m asked to play I will always work hard, train hard and play hard so that I’m impressing people. I’m just being patient and waiting for my chances, I’m confident I can take it when I get it.

on how he saw the performance…
It was a great performance, I thought all the players did well. Defensively we were solid and going forward we were always a threat, so it was a really good performance from the team.

on Konstantinos Mavropanos…
He was great today, he’s very strong, good in the air and looks confident on the ball, so he’s a great addition to the team and helped us get the three points tonight.

on what it’s like facing Mavropanos in training…
He’s good, he’s got a good battle in him, he’s so strong and it’s nice to train against players like him as it only improves you.

Interview

Nketiah - I’ve been working for this my whole life

When Eddie Nketiah came on in our Carabao Cup tie against Norwich City, he only had one thing on his mind: to make an impact.

Fifteen seconds later and he had equalised. Not long after he would score the winner. Mission accomplished.

But Nketiah’s journey towards his ultimate goal – becoming a first-team regular – still has some way to go, although he has come a long way already.

in joining us, wasn’t your typical one. He honed his craft on the streets of Lewisham, before joining his local club, where he was then picked up by Chelsea, only to be let go at the age of 14.

 “In the early days I played football in the streets - in the park there was a little cage in my area,” he told Arsenal Player. “It was really hard playing in a football cage, there’s a lot of pride there and everyone wants to show how good they are and what they can do and there’s no security around, so you’ve got to fend for yourself.

“If you get tackled you’ve just got to get back up, there’s no fouling. There’s a lot of trash talk going on in the cage and you’ve just got to have a thick skin and get through it, and just show how good you are.

“I started off at Hilliford, it was a local club at under-9s and then I joined Chelsea at the end of that season and I was there until under-14s. I got released at under-14s and was told I wasn’t going to get another contract. A week later I got spotted, by Ian Gilmour, Charlie’s dad - at the time he was a scout for Arsenal - and he brought me down, and a week after that I got signed.

“My first year was really strong, I tried to build a name for myself. I think in my first year I got 24 goals in 20 starts, I think 26 in total, so it was a really prolific year for me. The next year I got 24 goals as well. It was really good for my confidence for this season and now that I’ve already scored goals at that level, I've shown I’m capable of doing so.”

After impressing for our under-23s, Nketiah made his first-team debut at BATE Borisov, before THAT performance off the bench against Norwich.

“I was so happy and delighted when the boss called me over and let me know that I would be coming on, even though it was only for four or five minutes,” he said. “Just to feel that all that hard work you have put in over the years has come true and that you’re able to step up with some of the best players in the world - it was a great feeling for me. 

“I was so happy, the adrenaline was pumping through me and I was just eager to get a touch on the ball and show what I could do, so that was a really great moment.

“Against Norwich I was itching to go on and all that was running through my mind was I was thinking, ‘Get one chance to try and get the team back in it and show I am in the right position to take it’, and I was eager to make an impact. To come on and do so in such quick time, 15 seconds, was amazing.

“It’s what you dream about every night when you go to sleep as a kid and to turn it into reality was a great feeling. I was so overwhelmed and so excited I even lost my head a bit with the celebration, usually I’m cool and calm with the celebrations.

“To be fair, the celebration came out nice on the camera so I wouldn’t change a thing from that night, maybe to get a hat-trick, but there’s plenty of time for that.”

Interview

Lacazette - What I like about Nelson and Nketiah

Although Alexandre Lacazette has only been at the club for a short while, he has been hugely impressed with two of our rising stars.

Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah - who are expected to feature in the Carabao Cup third-round tie against Doncaster - caught the eye during the pre-season tour of Australia and China, and the France international likes what he has seen.

“I think Reiss is very good,” Lacazette told Arsenal Player. “I believe he will be a top player for the club. He already impressed me during pre-season and it's great to see what he's been doing for the under-23s.

“His stats are very good and he's been performing well. When he's played with us, he's shown that he has real quality.

“I really like Eddie [Nketiah] as well. He's a great striker at the academy. He is very calm in front of goal and has great technique.”

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