Arsenal’s next big thing might have arrived.
Eddie Nketiah became an overnight sensation after scoring two goals as a substitute in Arsenal’s narrow 2-1 win over Norwich City in the Carabao Cup.
The 18-year-oldmatch winner has gone from North London’s best kept secret to Twitter’s top trend. Here’s everything you need to know about Eddie Nketiah.
1. He was released by Chelsea for being “too short”
After growing up in Lewisham as an Arsenal fan, Nketiah was actually signed to Chelsea’s youth ranks in 2008 and played there through to 2015, when he was released for being ‘too short’. Now standing at just over 5 foot 7 inches, the young striker has earned comparisons to Ian Wright – another pocket-sized goal scorer.
2. He’s been scoring goals for Arsenal’s U18s
Eddie Nketiah was converted from midfielder to striker upon joining Arsenal and he’s not looked back since. In his debut season (2015-16) he ended as the club’s leading scorer for the U18s with 24 goals in 28 games. Last season he passed the 20-goal landmark again after a season playing with the U18s and U21s.
3. He was given his first professional contract last year
Nketiah is one of the great hopes for Arsenal’s next generation of homegrown stars, alongside the likes of Reiss Nelson and Chris Willock. He signed his first professional contract at the start of last season and made his first team debut in this season’s Europa League game against BATE Borisov.
4. Thierry Henry is a fan
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry worked with Nketiah during his spell as a youth coach for the Gunners and upon seeing Eddie’s goals last night, the club’s all-time top scorer was full of praise.
What a night for @EddieNketiah9. So happy for him and not surprised at all!
— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) October 24, 2017
5. He’s already scoring hat-tricks for England
Eddie Nketiah has also had a successful breakthrough spell with England’s youth teams. He’s scored seven goals in just three games for England, including hat-tricks for the U18s and U19s against Qatar and Poland respectively.
The future is now.