England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd has claimed that Eddie Nketiah is on the way to succeeding Harry Kane and Alan Shearer as his country’s striker.
The 21 year-old recently equalled the record for most goals for his Under-21 international team, a record also held by Shearer, and unless he picks up an injury, you would fully expect him to overtake the England legend’s tally.
He is yet to bring that kind of goalscoring form to his club, although he is currently playing as back-up to Alexandre Lacazette, who has started the season with three goals in three PL outings.
Boothroyd believes he has what it takes to reach the top however, and is happy to compare him to the Kane and Shearer.
“There’s no doubt about it. He’s destined for big things,” Boothroyd said ahead of his side’s match on Tuesday night at Wolves’ Molineux Stadium (via Goal). “His personality and his persona around the lads, he has an aura of responsibility and leadership about him.
“He’s a natural, all the players like and respect him. We know what he gives on the pitch but he’s good off the pitch. This is what we want our young England players to look like.
“How far can he go? He’ll have to play regular games for his club.
“He’s been getting good opportunities and he has been scoring goals and putting in good performances. I’ve worked with him for nearly three years and seen him get stronger and stronger. Hopefully we can see him take that next step to become a regular with Arsenal and then the seniors.
“He’s got work to do and he’ll the first person who will tell you that. But he can do really well. There’s always comparisons with top players over generations. You look at the career that Alan had and Harry Kane who is our England captain now.
“If Eddie can get to that point where like those two players, he’s in on goal, and you know he’s going to score consistently, that’s when you make that step from young to a senior player.
“He is nearly there, not far off, but he is in the company of those players I have mentioned which shows you how much I think about him and how much we think about him in the system.”
Nketiah has impressed in his limited time within the first team, but until he starts to get consistent minutes as a regular starter, or more until he earns the right to start regularly, such comparisons will fall on deaf ears.
Arteta clearly rates Eddie, and will give him minutes to prove his worth to the team, and the manager’s approach has brought the best out of a number of players already.
Could Nketiah be England’s next big hope up front? Do we believe he could emulate the likes of Shearer?