Have you ever watched the film the Lion King? Perhaps you’ve seen a David Attenborough documentary on big cats in the wild, maybe you watched Cats the musical. OK the last one is unlikely to wield much help in this regard but the first two you’ll have noticed how when there are older lions on the way out, not able to live up to their duties, the younger, fitter, greater lions come and ferociously take their place.
On Tuesday night versus Norwich as many older more experienced stars like Olivier Giroud or Theo Walcott were turning in yet more underwhelming performances, a new younger striker roared to claim a new spot in the pride. Under-23s striker Eddie Nketiah seized his opportunity with an impressive double salvo to put the Arsenal senior team through to the next round of the league cup. Some claimed that Nketiah did more in his brief substitution appearance than Theo Walcott has done all season.
In this Article I talk to Arsenal Academy expert Jeorge Bird, to find out the essential info on the new star and what’s next for him.
What an introduction to Arsenal fans for Eddie Nketiah vs Norwich, tell us a bit about him, how long you have known of him and what is the perception of him at Arsenal?
I’ve known about him since 2014 when he was first registered to play for Arsenal in the UEFA Youth League. He’s always been seen as a very hard-working player with excellent technical ability and over the last couple of seasons he has been so prolific.
In addition he has an excellent tactical understanding of the game, which helps his chances of making the grade significantly.
What kind of player do you think Nketiah is? Where would he fit in the current system etc.? Was his performance against Norwich a fair estimation of his talents?
His best position is certainly as a striker but as we saw against Norwich he can thrive behind the main forward as well.
I don’t think playing him at wing-back would be beneficial for his development, however, as it would limit his attacking influence.
His performance versus Norwich definitely reflects how talented he is and it is hoped that he can now continue to impress when given the chance.
Finally do you think Nketiah is ready for the Arsenal starting 11 or first team squad and if so what would he bring that other first teamers don’t already?
Perhaps he isn’t ready to start regularly but I certainly think he could make an impact as a sub in the Premier League. The problem is, though, that he’s a similar type of player in style to Lacazette.
In some games, though, Nketiah might be a preferable option to Giroud to use as a sub as his style of play suits Arsenal greatly.