One of our favourite things here at Betting Tip Stars is to see young players come through. Even more exciting when they are English as it means it will only improve the national side. Arsenal is one of those clubs who seems to produce tons of young English players but because of the club policy of heavily foreign teams they never really get a look in. They often fall down the leagues as their entire career up until being sold is in youth or reserve teams.
A new batch appears to be coming through at the club and once again appears to be offering an exciting pool of talent. Arsene Wenger likes to give his youth players run outs during the League Cup and more recently the Europa League. Edward Nketiah scored in the Carabao cup last night twice and along with winging sensation Reiss Nelson have lit up the red and white of late. Hopefully, a first-team appearance is not far off. Let’s take a look at the class of 2017.
This electric winger drew huge praise from Martin Keown in the coverage of the Europa League between Arsenal and BATE Borisov. The former Arsenal legend compared his footwork to that of the great Neymar JR. Indeed, Nelson is full to the brim with confidence. You can see this with every flick of the boot. His ability to ghost defenders is worth its weight in gold as a winger. Arsenal has loved pace on the wing but too many times that has resulted in players being converted into wingers and without any knowledge of a prominent position. Walcott is a prime example. Nelson seems to be used to his right-hand side and this has resulted in a level head knowing when to move the ball on and when to beat his man.
Nelson has been part of Arsenal since he was nine and has known nothing apart from the red and white of the London side. It would be very interesting to see if he could do his tricks on a rainy night in Preston as not all games are played on the carpets of European football. If Wenger deems him good enough he can definitely find a place in the squad but too many Arsenal players have plummeted the leagues after being found out while on loan. I will save judgement for Nelson until this happens. From first look however he looks to be an incredibly exciting player with everything needed to be a top winger in Europe.
Nketiah is actually a product of Chelsea’s academy but after being released it was Arsenal that snapped him up. His two goals against Norwich last night in the Carabao Cup has brought him to national attention.
One depressing statistic for those over 25 is that Nketiah is the first player born after Wenger joined Arsenal to score for the club. That shows just how long Wenger has been around, doesn’t it?
Wenger said of Eddie’s performance “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.”
Nketiah definitely didn’t seem short of confidence on the evening. His celebrations showed a player who believed he would score but even he wouldn’t have expected one inside 30 seconds of being on and then a second to win.
Both his goals came from inside the 6-yard box which might be an indication of a striker who loves to poach. Arsenal had a lack of bite at this end until Giroud turned up. They may have found a cost-effective and English alternative in Nketiah. His slight and skinny stature reminded me of Ian Wright and while it is way too early to draw comparisons that is definitely that the fans will be looking at.
One other aspect that was on shown in the game against Norwich was his athleticism. Despite his small stature Nketiah had an impressive rise on his jump to win the game with a header.
As a striker goals will be how Eddie is judged and that is why I think it is vital he goes out on loan asap to see if he can build more confidence and numbers at a lower league team. Arsenal might have a new goal machine and will have Chelsea kicking themselves if he comes good.