It’s pretty common to see youngsters breaking out into the upper echelons during any given pre-season with any given team, mainly because that’s just the way pre-season (and football in general) kind of works. It’s always important to bring through the crop of new stars from the next generation, because your current stars aren’t going to last forever. Therefore, as you can imagine, Arsenal aren’t immune from that – and we’re pretty happy that’s the case.
The future is now
One man that Arsenal fans should be getting pretty excited about is Eddie Nketiah, the 20 year old sensation who has been blossoming over the course of the last few years. While he hasn’t made too much of a dent in the first team up to this point, it really does feel like just a matter of time until he is pushing the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to their limit.
It’s in the last few pre-season games that Nketiah has really been able to showcase just how good he is, through a series of strong performances over in the United States. While you could argue that this doesn’t mean much given that they aren’t competitive games, you can only beat what is put in front of you – and this is exactly the kind of experience someone of his age needs.
What’s his role?
We can’t imagine he’s going to be a regular in the first team in the Premier League next season, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for him in the 2019/20 campaign. In addition to the remaining pre-season friendlies, there are also going to be three other competitions that the Gunners take part in. Some are more important than others, in the eyes of some fans, but it’ll still serve as a worthwhile contribution for him.
The Europa League seems like an obvious place to test the waters for him, because let’s face it, Arsenal aren’t going to be nearly as invested in the idea of winning the thing (in our opinion). They’re better off putting their resources into the Premier League push, with the likes of Nketiah leading the charge in the Europa. Then, if any form of success comes from it, he’ll come out looking like a million bucks.
Then you’ve got the FA Cup and League Cup which, of course, should definitely feature some Nketiah starring roles.
Will Eddie Nketiah have a featured role for Arsenal next season?