Press conference

Will Eddie Nketiah play in the Premier League?

Eddie Nketiah could not have wished for a better home debut - a goal with his first touch after just 15 seconds on the pitch, and a thumping header to win the game.

With Alexis, Mesut Ozil, Alex Lacazette, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and others to compete with, Eddie is unlikely to get a run in the first team just yet. But Arsene Wenger says that the 18-year-old striker is very much in his thoughts.

“He will continue to get a chance,” said the boss. “Of course [he’ll play a role] if he continues to develop.

“It’s two things. You cannot think that a guy is ready to play in the Premier League straight away because he’s scored two goals. He has to continue to develop. If he’s scores two goals, there’s some quality there that we have to take care of.

“At the moment, the biggest problem of the Premier League… if you look at the results at youth level for England Under-17s, you see the under-20s are world champions too and the under-21s are doing well - and that’s the first time that’s been the case since I’ve been in England.

“It’s the first time there’s been a consistent level of results in England’s youth teams. That means the quality is there and the next step is to integrate them in the Premier League.

“As managers today we are confronted, and the position of managers has become weakened in the past 20 years. To integrate the young players, you need to be strong. That is a problem that England will have to sort out in the coming years, to give a chance to these young, quality players.

“Honestly, I believe that is the final step of the development of the young players, but also the most difficult.”

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