Eddie Nketiah stars for Arsenal: Who is Norwich’s cup conqueror?
Last Updated: 26/10/17 11:00am
Arsenal fans have a new hero in Eddie Nketiah but who is the young Carabao Cup star?
Arsenal were heading for Carabao Cup defeat at home to Championship side Norwich City before his intervention. The teenager came off the bench late on and equalised within 15 seconds to take the game into extra time.
Not content with that, Nketiah went on to secure a 2-1 win for the Gunners with his 96th-minute header.
The 18-year-old forward was not even born when Arsene Wenger took over as Arsenal manager and had played just one minute of senior football prior to Tuesday night but he now has Arsenal supporters abuzz about his potential. So, who exactly is Eddie Nketiah?
Arsenal signed up Nketiah after he was released by Chelsea in the summer of 2015. The youngster had been on the Blues' books since he was spotted playing for his local team in south London as a nine-year-old, but the Gunners were quick to pounce when he was told he would not be offered a scholarship.
Nketiah was invited to train with Arsenal just a few days after Chelsea confirmed his release, and their youth coaches liked what they saw. Within a week, Nketiah accepted a scholarship from Arsenal. He's been rising through the ranks ever since.
Nketiah is a quick and skilful frontman who is known for his clever runs in behind opposition defences.
Wenger put him in the squad for the recent third-round tie against Doncaster, praising Nketiah back then. "I like the quality of Eddie's movement, the quality of the areas he gets into, his strength, his determination to finish things off and his work rate as well," said the Arsenal boss.
That assessment echoed the player's own assessment of his game. "My game is mainly pace, movement and finishing," he said in March, before prophetically adding: "I have also worked on my heading." That has paid off in spectacular fashion for Wenger's side.
Of course, Nketiah goalscoring prowess is nothing new to those at the club as he has been doing it for the past two years. He was Arsenal Under-18s top scorer with 24 goals in 28 appearances in the 2015/16 season and passed the 20-goal mark again for the various age-group sides last term.
Nketiah was given his first professional contract in September of last year and confirmed his development with a place on Arsenal's pre-season tour in the summer. His first taste of first-team action came in the 4-2 Europa League win against BATE Borisov last month.
With much of the focus on the big names who want to leave the club, this was a reminder that there are youngsters at Arsenal eager to impress if given the chance. Nketiah will now be hoping to be involved in the quarter-finals. His team would not be there without him.