Wenger to bide his time with Nketiah

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Arsene Wenger says that Eddie Nketiah has what it takes to make a career at Arsenal but he won’t be rushing the 18-year-old into Premier League action just yet.

The Academy graduate made an instant impact on his home debut on Tuesday night when he came off the bench to grab a match-winning brace to put the Gunners into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup at the expense of Norwich City.

Asked in his pre-Swansea press conference whether his young charge will receive more first team minutes, the boss hinted that he’d rather allow the striker to develop gradually.

“He will continue to get a chance,” said the boss. “Of course [he’ll play a role] if he continues to develop.

“It’s two things. You cannot think that a guy is ready to play in the Premier League straight away because he’s scored two goals. He has to continue to develop. If he’s scored two goals, there’s some quality there that we have to take care of.

“At the moment, the biggest problem of the Premier League… if you look at the results at youth level for England Under-17s, you see the under-20s are world champions too and the under-21s are doing well – and that’s the first time that’s been the case since I’ve been in England.

“It’s the first time there’s been a consistent level of results in England’s youth teams. That means the quality is there and the next step is to integrate them in the Premier League.

“As managers today we are confronted, and the position of managers has become weakened in the past 20 years. To integrate the young players, you need to be strong. That is a problem that England will have to sort out in the coming years, to give a chance to these young, quality players.

“Honestly, I believe that is the final step of the development of the young players, but also the most difficult.”

In a separate interview with Arsenal.com, Wenger underlined that for the moment he’ll continue to rotate his squad to cope with the demands of the Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup schedule. It means Eddie will challenge for a spot in the latter competitions.

“I believe that, at the moment, we’ll leave what’s going well in both sides,” said Wenger.

“What is great is how quickly you can make an impact, like Eddie did.

“My job is not to rush them too much, but to continue their development. I believe that Eddie has a good chance of making a career with us and that’s what I feel responsible for. Maybe not on such a small timescale!”

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40 Comments on "Wenger to bide his time with Nketiah"

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Pedant

We need to be sensible. If he keeps on scoring 2 a game that would be fantastic, but more likely he will dip to one goal a game sometimes, so we need to take care with him.

gooner

On the other hand that was a goal within the last five minutes of the 90 he played.
So given a full 90 minutes we could be looking at an 18 goals a game player in our midst.

Pedant

Good point. More than likely for some games, but I hope he can cope if it drops into single figures.

Sully Taylor

This is good maths.

Isaiah Rankin

So assuming we make it to the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League finals next season, playing in the Community Shield game as well, he should rack up 882 goals by my reckoning.

We just need to keep him fit but with a bit of work we could have a 900-goal-a-season player on our hands.

Isaiah Rankin

Let’s start building his statue now.

Cliff Bastin

You guys are hilarious

Jdog

Assuming his goal ratio goes up 20% a season up to the age of 29 (peak) and then drops 20% until he is 35 (retires) he will score 44,473 goals for the Arsenal. This would be 44,248 goals more than Thierry henry. Therefore, by my reckoning he should have 195 statues.

Bosscielny

A museum would be more feasible, now that the debt for Emirates stadium is over.

Badaab

Pele what? Maradona who?

Bosscielny

You guys are forgetting that he’s only 18. Normally a player starts hitting his peak around 24. So by my reckoning he should be scoring around 1200 goals a season minimum after 24.

Chamakh123

On the 7th day; he created Eddie

Mein Bergkampf

No ones expecting him to score two goals or even one goal a game. Nothing like that. I’m just becoming increasingly concerned when players like Zelalem, Chris Willock, Crowley… all of which had bags of unbridled talent, don’t get so much as a sniff of competitive football under their belt. Surely instead of giving Theo his standard 20 min run out, we could be chucking on younger stars to see if they sink or swim. We’ve stopped taking those risks and I think it’s telling that a lot of our talent is beginning to look elsewhere as a result.

Lord Bendnter

Agree, and frankly, it has become boring watching some of those bang average players. If we were winning and challenging for the title, I wouldnt complain. But that isn’t the case, so let’s start taking risks and introducing our youth to a taste of first team football here and there.

Mustafa Punani

Mein Bergkampf I agree, I do not know why on Poseidon’s sandy tits you got a couple downvotes

gooner1981

I don’t think any of the so-called top 6 are giving their talent too many chances. It’s either Carabao cup, or like Man Utd last year, Europa League. I think it is time that English talent started looking at so-called ‘smaller’ leagues like the Dutch, Turkish or Portuguese leagues to make that initial senior level breakthrough. I don’t grudge Chris Willock for moving to Portugal. He has a much better chance of playing there regularly, than he would have had with us, or any of the other 5 teams in the PL with ambition. And we can’t have it both ways. We either let these players play regardless of the consequences, or just accept that when the pressure is really on, we’re going to look to our senior players. Very very few players come along, like Jack or Cesc, who can directly be thrown in at the deep end, and thrive.

Andy Mack

Chris Willock joined the Benfica B team which plays in their equivalent of the Championship. So really the quality of football he’s playing is somewhere around our Div 1/Div 2 level.
He could have been on loan at that level here, but he wanted a move and the climate and style of living there is attractive to most of us.
He also had the example of his older brother Matt who left us for ManU and regularly plays in their reserves (he clearly didn’t go there for the climate 😀 ).

WengerOut

The fact that you expect him to keep scoring (whether 1 or 2) already makes this statement not sensible

C.B.

The fact that you think that post was serious makes you not sensible.

bollock

Or maybe his humour failed.

George

He isnt ready for the first team, Akpom is ahead of him. Sure he palyed well, but Carabao cup and subistitute cameos in Europa are his level for this season. A loan in the championship will show us how close he is. For me Maitland Niles is the only one ready. Even Reiss Nelson isnt there yet, a loan in January should benefit Reiss, perhaps at a club challenging for promotion to see how he deals with pressure and the physical rumble and tumble

Welbeck\'s hi top fade
Welbeck\'s hi top fade

Inclined to agree. I actually thought Niles had a pretty decent game against Norwich and was a little surprised he was subbed at the time. I felt we were a lot more solid on the left defensively whereas Nelson (I thought) looked a little outmatched in that respect. Obviously neither are WBs, but Niles is doing a job at LWB despite being very right-footed.

jack jack jack

Totally right George. Still very early in their development. Nketiah and Nelson are really impressive but we’ll see where they are after a proper loan or two

ramgooner

While he did score 2 goals i did not see him track back after his first goal. He looked like he wanted to stay forward (or has probably been told to) but in PL you need much more than that. The players have to make some in game decisions and it requires a lot of maturity. Good news is with Wenger he always has a chance if shows the right attitude. Just a few examples
Wenger started Iwobi at Camp Nou
He started Bellerin at Dortmund and stuck with him ever since
He started Gnabry against Swansea.
Maitland Niles had a few good run outs.
Coquelin got his chance.
Jenkinson, Chambers and Holding have played in a good number of PL games.

Maniac

Don’t forget Sanogo vs Bayern. Bet they never saw that one coming.

Jack

‘We’ll leave what’s going well in both sides’. We may be winning these games in Europa League and Carabao but we’re not playing well at all, so if we get further then he should start playing a few more first team players. You don’t see other teams rotating all 11 players each match …

Andy Mack

Or does he believe that they will ‘click’ soon?

uhtred

Wonder what’s happened to fatgooner. Anyone heard from him?

Arun

He got suffocated by his own negativity and stopped breathing, I heard.

jack jack jack

Ah I’d forgotten about old Fatso. Perhaps he finally got so angry he imploded or ate his computer. I miss his cheery comments

IndieGooner

I miss Rambling Pete.

nimble foot

That angry fucker fatgooner made me depressed

adelaidegooner

mee too😕

A P

He morphed into John C.

Andy Mack

You mean he’s really ‘John the Fat C’… ?

bendtnerschristmastree
bendtnerschristmastree

MAYBE HE LOST WEIGHT?! mAYbE hE’S JUsT gOoNEr NoW??

para

If he shows what is needed in training, then i say he should join the 1st team on more occasions, like on the bench against City.
🙂

nycgunner

The media hype with Nketiah is well and truly underway. We would be wise to protect him and nurture his talent in a sensible way.

Is the press over their Harry Kane crush already? Come on. He hasn’t even disappointed you in the world cup yet.

shokim

Seems Kane has picked up an injury. Guess the media will give him a short(ish) break..

santori

Important not to get carried away.

Surprise factor was also an element in his success against Norwich.

I mean Akpom was also prolific in our youth ranks but seems to have stalled in progression. Arguably he is still ahead of Nketiah and showed some gpood moves in the game.

We’ve also seen the likes of Zelalem fall off not to mention Toral was on everyone’s lips not too long ago. Jeff has also gone quiet in part due to injury but clearly its easy to hype it up.

Many fans are simplistic and like to see the grass being greener but there is still plenty of work for Nketiah (talent noted) to do.

Not some years back, there was a very talented youth player around the same age who was earmarked for big things. Alban Bunjaku. Never heard of him? Hankered to get a senior contract early on leave. He left and since then hasn’t made much impact.

Nketiah (like Nelson) is still young. There will be plenty of opportunity to work into first squad with aging assets on the horizon in Giroud, Monreal, Koscielny, Santi, Debuchy for a range of young talents.

Wenger has had a great track record of both promoting youth through our academy but also local talent.

In terms of Academy youth – Nelson but also Iwobi, Bellerin, Coquelin, but also Jack over the years. Now Jo Willock, Nketiah are also threatening to break through and there may be still a role for Akpom even given he has bulked up/gained experience.

In terms of English/Welsh players- Holding, Chambers, Jack, Welbeck, Walcott, Nelson, Rambo.

…not of course news that the press will want to monger since they prefer projecting crisis and the ‘foreigness’ of the Arsenal over reality.

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