by Tony Attwood
In a match which kicked off this morning Eddie Nketiah scored a hat-trick as Arsenal U18s beat Manchester City under 18s 4-3 at London Colney.
Kwame Ampadu coaches the team and he put out a strong side of 2nd year apprentices, but Manchester City took the lead through Lukas Nmecha in the 14th minute.
Nketiah got his first to make it 1-1 following what the Arsenal web site called “good build up play from Joe Willock.”
Eddie Nketiah then got his second goal to put Arsenal in the ascendancy but Jadon Sancho’s for Manchester City meant that the two sides were level at the break.
Arsenal.com continues the tale: “The drama continued into the second half with the unlikely source of Tolaji Bola putting Arsenal back in front after he was feed up by Malen. City refused to give up with Nmecha making it 3-3 from the penalty spot in an enthralling encounter.” (Bola is considered an unlikely source as he is a central defender).
“Nketiah wasn’t finished, though, with the striker completing his hat-trick to put Arsenal 4-3 up.
“There was a chance for another goal late (to make it four goals in the match) but Nketiah missed a penalty. It mattered little as the England youth international had already made the decisive contribution to the game.”
Here is the Arsenal line up: Virginia; Osei-Tutu, Olowu, Medley, T. Bola; McGuane, Dasilva; Smith-Rowe (Dragomir, 68), J. Willock (Gilmour, 89), Malen; Nketiah. Subs not used: Crean, Ballard, Burton.
But this is not the first time that this young man has shone in Arsenal colours. Last month the Sun who don’t normally bother themselves with such matters ran the headline
“ENGLAND fans are joining Gunners fans in their excitement over the club’s latest wonderkid after Eddie Nketiah netted a hat-trick for his country. The Three Lions Under-18 prospect scored a treble against Qatar during a 4-0 win in the Gulf state.”
But still that wasn’t the first hat-trick the 17-year-old has scored this season.
Nketiah also got three against Leicester Under-23s earlier this season, (who were unbeaten at the time) as well as three (although not in the same game) in the Uefa Youth League.
And with that wonderfully wild and utterly erratic predictive quality that the media has, they continue with “There will soon be calls for Arsene Wenger to include him in the Gunners’ first-team squad.”
Now what makes the whole Eddie Nketiah story particularly interesting is not that he has just signed his first professional contract nor that “he’s already showing what a huge future he has at the club,” as one reporter put it, but rather that in 2015 he was released by Chelsea.
A couple of days later Arsenal “snapped him up” as they say in journalistic circles – well as they say in the Metro, “convinced he would be a success and if youth team level football is anything to go by, they may well be right.”
Nketiah’s goalscoring record is quite interesting, for in addition to having scored 24 goals in 28 appearances with the U18s in 2015/16 he has also…
- Scored 11 in 13 for the under 18s
- Scored 3 in 2 starts and 2 sub app in Uefa Youth League
- Scored 5 in 4 starts and 7 sub appearances in under 23s
Which makes 19 goals in 19 starts and 9 substitute appearances
Rather good really.
From the Arsenal History Society