Fifteen seconds after Arsene Wenger handed Eddy Nketiah his home debut, the forward scored. It was against Norwich in the 2017 Carabao Cup. Nikitia’s brace secured a 2-1 come-from-behind win. Arsenal fans edited his Wikipedia page to include the names of Ronaldinho, Kaka, Pele and Maradona with Eduard Keder Nketiah.
A week ago, Wenger gave the 18-year-old striker his Europa League debut, to BAT Borisov. “He has the ability to anticipate when you’re in the box,” Wenger said at the time. “That’s a quality you can’t give anymore at this age: you either have it or you don’t.” “
Five years later on Boxing Day, with chants of “One Arsene Wenger” around the Emirates on Monsieur Arsenal’s first visit since 2018, Nikita scored with a pirouette that stunned West Ham’s Thelo Kehrer. And made his former manager happy.
In five games since the resumption of the club’s 2022-23 season, 23-year-old Nikitia has scored four goals in all competitions. Put another way, he has scored in all of Arsenal’s games and in the one they didn’t, a 0-0 draw against Newcastle, Nikita had the most shots. Such form has ensured that the injured Gabriel Jesus will not be missed at the World Cup and that is a big deal indeed. Especially since Arsenal signed the Brazilian to fill the void following the departures of Pierre-Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
The top striker’s absence hurt Arsenal’s bid for a Champions League spot last term. With his industry and ability to play out wide and centrally, Jesus quickly became a manager and fan favourite. And now, he was out until February. Will Arsenal be able to maintain the run that took them to the top when the Premier League stopped for the World Cup? Going into Sunday’s home game as Premier League leaders against Manchester United – the only team to beat Arsenal in the league – Nikita has ensured they will.
Wary of another big-ticket signing after Nicolas Pepe’s misadventure and offering Aubameyang a new deal, Leandro Trossard has been signed but is likely back-up to Nketiah as Arsenal three Competitions are alive (they can play seven games if they are to win the Europa League and next weekend’s FA Cup tie against Manchester City).
For now, at Nketiah, the club’s heel end academy, a product of the Arsenal Trust. He has been doing so since last February after playing 51 minutes — and trying to progress as a result — he broke into the first team. Nikitia scored five goals in the last seven league games and had 10 goals and one assist in 28 games across all competitions in 2021–22. Arsenal had seen enough of him last summer to offer him a new contract until 2027 and Nikita, to remain with the club since 2015, ignored other offers to stay. Seven goals, including five from five starts, and one assist in 24 games this term show the club and player were right in renewing the positions.
“Obviously he’s been waiting for this moment. He’s been patient when he’s needed to but at the same time he’s been in the right mindset and preparing himself for the moment…He’s a great finisher, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said.
With Gabriel Martinelli and Bokaio Saka – also an academy product – on either side, Nketiah is likely to be the focal point in a Casemiro-less Manchester United frontline against the former powers who haven’t met in years. Is. In addition to his ability to finish off moves – the goals against Oxford United were typical poachers’ attacks, scoring the first keeper and setting up a decent spot for the second – Nikita helps to win the ball and beat the press. Can fall deep to do. He also leads the press and in the 2–0 win against Tottenham Hotspur, when Martinelli fouled goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Nikita was quick to pounce on him and attempt a shot.
“The foundations of this squad are built on young talent, particularly those who have come through our academy system,” said Arsenal technical director Edo.
It was there that Nikitia had been trained since 2015 when he was released by Chelsea, partly because he was too young. Tammy Abraham’s rise, and the fact that at 1.9m he has grown 10cm, was another. At Chelsea, Nikita impressed Arsenal’s scouts and youth team and continued to do so after switching clubs.
“He’s a goal-scoring machine and the beauty is that he can score with both feet and head, but he also has great movement,” David Court, who was with Arsenal’s youth development staff, said in 2017. told The Guardian.
He was loaned out to Leeds United where, once again alongside Patrick Bamford, game time was limited. As it was at Arsenal. But as Arteta said, Nictia was ready when the opportunity arose. Must be a good striker.