Being in the Europa League and the League Cup this season has meant that Arsenal have been able to play with two completely different squads. Whilst the preferred players have played in the Premier League, the Europa League and League Cup has given opportunities for both fringe and youth players to excel.
One player who really caught the eye in the most recent League Cup game was youngster Eddie Nketiah, whom came off the bench to score two goals and put Arsenal into the quarter final of the competition. The crowd loved the freshness and directness that Eddie brought to the team, and were soon chanting ‘EDDIE, EDDIE, EDDIE’. Just 18-years-old, could Eddie be the next big thing at Arsenal?
Well the club certainly think so and are set to tie him down to a new 5-year deal worth around £15,000 per week. Eddie’s current deal is worth just £2,000 per week and is set to expire at the end of next season, so the Gunners will be keen to tie him to a new deal before other clubs come snooping.
More than a financial increase though, Eddie will surely be hoping for some more first team minutes and assurances of that in his contract will surely be what convinces him to sign on. The League Cup and Europa League will give Eddie and others some excellent exposure to first team football at Arsenal. Nketiah could be rewarded for his brace against Norwich with a start in the Europa League on Thursday, when Arsenal host Red Star Belgrade – win that game and the Gunners will be through to the next stage of the competition, giving the likes of Nketiah a real taste of a European competition.
Eddie’s pace and his position has of course seen himself compared to Thierry Henry, but only time will tell if he has what it takes to really reach those heights, but it seems he’s already a big hit with the fans. Everyone loves a home-grown star; could Eddie be Arsenal’s next?