Wenger: We hope Nketiah has a proud career

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Arsene Wenger was full of praise for 18-year-old Eddie Nketiah after the striker came off the bench to grab a match-winning brace to send Arsenal through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup at the expense of Norwich City.

Making his home debut, Nketiah scored with his first touch on 85 minutes to take the game to extra-time and then crashed home a headed winner as the Gunners ran out 2-1 winners against the Canaries.

After the match, it was pointed out to the boss that Nketiah is the first player to score for Arsenal who was not born when he first took over in 1996.

“I’m impressed that he wasn’t even conceived when I was first here,” remarked Wenger.

“Life gives chances to young people. We hope he has a proud career. Giving chances to young players is part of what this club is about.

He added: “He showed great anticipation in the box to score and that’s a quality that you cannot teach at that age,” Wenger said.

“I like the second goal that he scored because he’s not tall and he got very high – it shows that he’s a guy who wants it.”

Wenger made 11 changes from the side that beat Everton at the weekend, giving a debut to Matt Macey in goal and including a host of young talent, in addition to Nketiah, on the bench.

In addition to Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, three other Academy graduates, Chuba Akpom, Josh Dasilva and Jo Willock, got game time. It’s a situation that Wenger takes pride in.

“This is the competition every year that we decide to educate young players who have good potential,” he added.

“It is good to only have young players on the bench because if you have experienced players you go for them – having young strikers on the bench is great for us.”

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33 Comments on "Wenger: We hope Nketiah has a proud career"

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Xzibit

Eddie Vidi Vici

Norn Iron Gooner

This beats the Ryo cone comment, hands down.

Mein Bergkampf

I’m just pleased I know how to pronounce it now… Took me ages to finally hear Szczesny. Was basically saying the s followed my a cough and a mumble for like two years.

Dan Hunter

The first goal celebration.. Who did he push? Was well funny

Tom

Looked like Joe Willock to me. He seemed genuinely irritated that someone had the audacity to interrupt his celebration…

Gooner Sam

Awesome debut, especially given the circumstances in the match. Would be great to have a quality home grown striker.

Rummy

He turned a really dire match into a really enjoyable evening. I hope his career takes off if only to say I was there

Ayush Jain

We need to play him a half in Europa league to gain more experience as we are about to get qualified as Table toppers.

Nelson

I would be interested to see what would happen if you just took the entire u23 squad and played them considering It is very unlikely we won’t qualify.

Probably be a disaster but it would be entertaining

Noblegunner

If we Beat Red Star at home next week, we can do that for the last 2 games. What a luxury that would be!!

harish

After the goal went in, everytime he touched the ball, the fans were chanting ‘Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!’

Great atmosphere.

Wizard of Öz

he’s one of our own

GoonerDredd

What a night! Really enjoyed Eddie, was praying for his hattrick. Can’t wait to see how he develops!

Kostas Greek Gooner

SUPER! Lets loan him to WBA until his contract expires!

Mesut O\'Neill

Sarcasm isn’t too popular around here

GreekGooner

🙂 Sarcasm aside, I believe that Eddies performance is gonna be a massive confidence boost for all the academy players!!!

SB Still

When Wenger first started to use the League Cup as an education/audition for the young players there were many who complained that he didn’t take the competition seriously. However he has revitilised the competition single handedly!

Here is to Wenger turning our Academy into a production line like Barca’s.

Kostas Greek Gooner

Did Barcelona ever create a “Niklas Bendtner”?

Eoin

There’s no one in the universe on the same level as the lord

Faisal Narrage

Eddie is coming.

Dan Hunter

Exhibit A – English public exaggerates the abilities of an English player causing undue pressure. Just let them develop according to their abilities

Cliff Bastin

Destined for the number 25?

Dinobot

“I’m impressed that he wasn’t even conceived when I was first here.”

Nothing speaks more about a manager’s longevity than this.

Windell Wignal

That’s what you do when the manager sends you on…impact the game…well he may or my not have a career at the club who knows? But he won’t ever forget this moment…All on could learn a thing or two from this lad. One thing is for sure is there are a few youngersters knocking at the door and I believe Wenger’s had it with under performing first team players…yes they know who they are..and I think they will be shipped out in January and let some of these young lads get a chance. I was hoping to see Joe Willock got a chance today…he’s better than Coquelin in my opinion.

Kevlarbe

This will likely be Chubas last season. Sadly I am afraid he looks like he might have to pass the baton.
Well played Ed

Mesut O\'Neill

Yep, the fact he takes up one of the 25 man squad positions will mean he is released this summer.

Crash Fistfight

Maybe he can get some appearances under his belt and play well enough to earn himself a decent move, for his sakes. I thought he was really lively yesterday – he and Nketiah made a big impact (certainly put Walcott and Giroud to shame).

Badaab

It was a real treat to see a young man enjoying his football. He clearly wanted it more than anyone else- especially for the second goal- and that desire was something we were lacking until he came on.
Its still early days, but I liked what I saw from the lad today. Here’s to him gaining some experience in the remaining Europa League group matches and in training with the first team squad before a likely loan out in January.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Very much enjoying Wenger using BTSport talk to try to futureproof this guy from the British media right away. Wenger knows.

Dre

Who was that guy warming up, Eddie pushed aside in the celebrations of his first goal?

ramgooner

Think it’s Joe Willock

IndieGooner

Heh. I too noticed that, in fact I think he pushed him twice and the first one was very close to an assault 😀.

lettra

Blogs have you seen this.. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenal-snare-barcelona-chief-instrumental-11404928
addition to our scouting/transfer department

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