Arsenal’s newest sensation Eddie Nketiah burst into the spotlight when the Gunners came from behind to knock Norwich out of the Caraboa Cup last month, and it seems that the 18 year-old has the world at his feet. He has celebrated his breakthrough in style and has continued his exploits whilst playing for the England U19 side in this week’s World Cup Qualifying rounds.
He managed to score 4 goals in their opening qualifier against The Faroes, but in a harder second game against Iceland Eddie scored yet another dramatic winner in the closing minutes to make it 2-1 and secure a place for his country in the next Elite Round of Qualifying.
There are very few people at the Arsenal Academy that are surprised by his scoring prowess as he scored 24 goals as a 16 year-old for the club, and followed it up again last season by scoring another 24, with 12 of those coming after he was promoted to the U23 side.
Even Thierry Henry famously said about Nketiah after his scintillating display against Norwich: “I worked with him when I was with the under-18s and I was delighted to see him grab two goals — delighted but not surprised.
“He is a great kid and was a pleasure to work with. He was always on time, listened hard and was a good worker, willing to learn and improve.”
Nketiah himself admitted that he would love to emulate his one-time hero. He told Arsenal Player: “[I grew up watching] Thierry, Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright – they were all great strikers and attacking players and I watched them a lot, especially Thierry.
“When he was working with us I used to work with him quite a bit on and off the field, so I’m just trying to emulate even a little bit of what they can do, that would a dream come true for me.”
He certainly seems to be living up to the hype so far, and with Arsene Wenger planning to give him a new pay rise with a new extended contract, could the youngster finally become Arsenal’s new Thierry?