Eddie Nketiah grabbed global headlines last night as his stunning performance saved Arsenal from defeat against Norwich and handed them a victory that seemed unlikely before he stepped on the pitch.
Here is our list of the 10 things you should know about him.
1. Born in London
Edward “Eddie” Nketiah was born in Lewisham, south London on May, 20 1999.
2. Has Born after Arsene Wenger was Appointed Arsenal Manager
Arsene Wenger could not have possibly dreamt of being Eddie’s Manager as the latter was not even born when he took over as Arsenal Manager on October 1, 1996.
3. Hillyfielders Football Club was his first club
Have you ever heard of this club? No, right? Neither have we but it makes for good Eddie Nketiah trivia. The club is based in Bromley.
4. He was rejected by Chelsea
We would not have been surprised if it were the other way round, going by the long list of great footballers Arsene Wenger could have signed for Arsenal (the list would depress any true fan).
However, in Eddie’s case it was Chelsea that released him from the Under-14s because as the rumour has it, they felt he did not have the physical presence a striker should have and let him go after being with them from 2008 till 2015 (is somebody getting fired for this?). Arsenal gave the boy a scholarship and the rest as they say is history.
5. He has Dual Nationality
By virtue of being born in England but has Ghanaian heritage. Therefore, he can play for either England or Ghana despite the fact that he has already been capped for England at Under-19 level. The battle to get his allegiance
should be interesting.
6. He Made his Senior Team Competitive Debut for Arsenal in the Europa League
Having been added to the squad for Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Australia and China where he came in as a substitute in games against Chelsea and Bayern Munich, he made his competitive debut against BATE Barisov in the
Europa League. Arsenal won that game 4-2.
7. He has Already Scored a Few Goals Against Petr Cech
For those that might be doubting his ability, he told Arsenal.com: “I really enjoy training with the first team and the practice games especially. I’ve scored a couple past Petr Cech, which I was happy about, because he’s such a top class ‘keeper. I know it was a training game, but it still gives me the belief that if I can score past him, I can do the
same against any goalkeeper.”
We agree with him, if he can score against Cech even in training, he is ready for the big league.
8. He Signed a Professional Contract with Arsenal in September 2016
If you are dreaming of having this youngster at your club, you might have to pay some bg bucks, Arsenal put him on a professional contract in September 2016. In footballing terms, he is not a small boy. This is what he said after signing his contract:
“I achieved the contract through working hard and trying to keep improving, and as a professional that’s something that I’m determined to keep doing because it takes me a step closer to the first team and I know how high the
9. Saved Arsenal in Carabao Cup with a Brilliant Brace
In case you don’t now already (probably because you just landed from Mars), Eddie came in as a substitute in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup game against Arsenal last night in the 85th minute with his team 0-1 down at the Emirates. He equalized with practically his first touch of the game and then scored the winner in extra time with a bullet header. Voila! A new Arsenal star is born.
10. Set Wenger Record
Eddie is the first player to score for Arsenal’s senior team that was not born (he was not even conceived) when Arsenal became Manager in 1996. We hope there will be more to follow. Read what Wenger had to say after the match about his new star:
“I must say I am impressed to think he was not even conceived when I was already here. “But it is good as well. Life gives a chance to young people and hopefully he will make a long career at Arsenal. We are proud to give young players a chance.”
There you have it, all you need to know about Edward Keddar Nketiah, the new toast of North London.