Arsene Wenger says he hopes that Eddie Nketiah will have a long career at Arsenal after the 18-year-old scored a brace against Norwich on Tuesday night.
Wenger spoke about the importance of giving young players a chance in tournaments like the League Cup following Eddie’s impressive display against Norwich.
“I brought him on because we needed to score goals and he can score goals. In the end we had eight strikers on the pitch,” Wenger said.
“I knew he had quality, but when the team need you and you deliver, that’s another quality you don’t know about until you go on to the pitch.
“Hopefully he’ll have a long career at Arsenal. We’re proud to give chances to young players, it’s part of our DNA, and we want to continue to do that.”
The teenager came on in the 85th minute and scored straight away, forcing the tie to extra time. The striker then went on to find the net a second time, kicking the Canaries out of the Carabao Cup.
Eddie has only been at Arsenal for two years after Chelsea decided not to offer him a scholarship. He had been there since 2008.
It’s too early to say whether Eddie will have a brilliant, long-term future in north London. We’ve gotten excited about young strikers before, only to have it not work out. However, for what it counts, the young Englishman has already made an impact.
Eddie wasn’t the only youth player to get some first team minutes under his belt during the League Cup fixture.
Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were also given starts against Norwich while Chuba Akpom, Joe Willock and Josh Dasilva also came on later in the game.