Arsenal boss Wenger: I want Eddie Nketiah to have long Emirates career
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Arsenal starlet Eddie Nketiah scored both goals in the 2-1 win against Norwich City after extra time in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup at the Emirates on Tuesday night, Read what Arsene Wenger had to say about him...
How is your heart rate after that? To bring on Eddie like you did?
Wenger: The fact that we needed to score goals and he can score goals. Overall in the end, I think we had eight strikers on the pitch basically and he has shown, I know Eddie has the qualities but as well when the team needs you and you can deliver that, that’s another quality that you don’t know before you put the players on and he has shown that. At the moment, I like, especially the goal he scored because he is not tall and you will see where he took the header, shows that he has a fantastic leap as well. Heading is a determined attitude, and that shows as well the character and desire to score.
Remind you of Ian Wright?
Let’s not be too quick you know. One of the problems nowadays is people are very quick to judge, he has qualities, he has top qualities and he is one of the players who was with me in pre-season and that’s why I knew he could give us something too when he comes on.
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First player to score who was born after you were appointed here…
Unfortunately, that happens now yes.
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How does it make you feel?
I must say, I am impressed by that to think that he was not even conceived when I was already here you know. But it’s good as well because life gives chances t young people and hopefully he will make a long career at Arsenal Football Club. We are proud to give a chance to young players, it is part of our DNA and we want to continue to do that.
How did you get him? Seems like Chelsea let him go? Can you recall?
I don’t know what happened at Chelsea but with us he has scored goals at youth level. I don’t know why they let him go or decided to leave but you see that more and more nowadays that young people travel from one club to another and I don’t know the real reasons.
You let Kane go, maybe this is the payback time?
Well we didn’t let him go, he was very young, I think he was 8/9 years old but we are happy to have him.
Can you remember such an impact from such an impact from such a young player since your time here?
No I can’t remember in a game like that no.
What were you thinking on the bench? Fantastic sub by me or delighted for him?
I felt happy for him you know, and for the team because we lacked a bit ideas and a little bit to create clear cut chances. I was impressed by the defensive performance of Norwich and so you sit there on the bench and think what can we do to be a bit more dangerous and we were in a position where we had to take a big gamble because we were 1-0 down with not much time to go. I know that he can score goals. I know as well he has character and he is not afraid. He smells the combination movement, he can give and go and once the player has that in his game, they have all the chance. The guys who can understand that if they give the ball somewhere and they can get it back and know where to get it back, the quality of reception is a very important quality. And I would say the quality of a reception, he has that.
You like to give young players a chance, would you consider him for Premier League squads or action soon?
I don’t rule anything out but I told you, he has played today 40 minutes and one of the big problems in modern society as well is to give them time, to develop and not to be too quick in not making stars too quickly?
Tempted to start him today?
Yes but I had players who need competition as well and this team played in Belgrade, a very physical game and I think we were not completely sharp as we have been last week but these players, like Iwobi who can play in the same position, they need competition.
Did you regret not putting more senior players on your bench?
No I didn’t. The boy Eddie is a good example because I just said that if I had experienced players on the bench, strikers for example, I would certainly at the end have put them on and not Eddie. Here you have no chance to put an experienced player on so you try to find a young player who can give you a chance and that’s why if you speak about Eddie…it was because there was no experienced striker on the bench.