Connect with us

Scout Report

Scout Report: Eddie Nketiah | Arsenal’s academy talent

Josh Sippie takes a look at highly-rated Arsenal academy striker Eddie Nketiah.

Arsenal’s youth ranks are always going to be full of players to watch. Even when they go and sell a chunk of those players, they are one of the more renowned academies in the world and with Arsene Wenger always on the lookout for new and inspiring talents, these youngsters know they need to be at the top of their game at all times because someone else could be along in a heartbeat to replace them.

Eddie Nketiah shouldn’t have too many concerns about who may be coming, because he has been such a good striker for the Arsenal youth outfit that he has forced his rivals (Donyell Malen) out of the club, as no one else can seem to keep pace with his  ability to score goals.

Who is Eddie Nketiah?

Eddie Nketiah began his footballing career when he was spotted by Chelsea playing for a local team in London. They locked him up at the age of nine and he spent six years playing in their youth system before being told in 2015 that he would be released. It took Arsenal just a couple of days to invite Nketiah to training and just a week after that for him to sign a professional contract with the Gunners. They clearly knew what they were doing.

Since then, Nketiah has been shooting (and scoring) up the ranks within the Arsenal system, showing the world why he was so highly thought of in the first place. Nketiah just knows how to score and he has shown this at every level and at every opportunity. With the U18s, he proved to be too much to handle, as his hot foot accounted for 24 goals and five assists in just 28 appearances in his first season with the club, including two hat-tricks. He closed out the season averaging over one goal every ninety minutes, in just his his first year with his new club.

The new season is off to as quick a start, as he was one of a handful of youth products selected to go on the  preseason tour with the first team and the quality was displayed at the first team level as well. He showed more work ethic than most of the first teamers and displayed a competitive streak to die for. Internationally, Nketiah has touched down at the England youth side and has made several appearances for them but he can still represent Ghana or the Three Lions at the senior level.

What is his Style of Play?

There is just one phrase that one would use to describe Eddie Nketiah’s style of play and that is simply an “eagerness to score.” The term “fox in the box” also comes to mind when you see him play, because he simply has an insatiable desire to smash the ball into the back of the net. However, unlike some people with that desire, Nketiah has actually proven capable of doing so.

Nketiah is a strong dribbler as well, capable of needling through tight spaces with the ball at his feet. This, coupled with his intense work ethic which stems from his eagerness to score, extends Nketiah’s usefulness outside of just the box. He has also been used out wide to great effect, as he has such a strong engine that he has no problem tracking back to defend and pushing forward from deeper positions.

Yet it must be said again that for all of the stylistic points he gets for his dribbling abilities, work ethic and any other skills that may develop, Nketiah’s style of play lives and dies with his ability to finish.

What are his Strengths?

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, let’s say it one more time- Eddie Nketiah is a finisher in every sense of the word. This is his primary strength and it’s actually crazy how strong (for lack of a better word) this strength actually is. Even in Arsenal’s academy system, which had, until recently, boasted the likes of top Dutch product Donyell Malen, as well as long-time Arsenal starlet Stephy Mavididi, there is no one who has ever come close to Nketiah in terms of scoring and this year it is looking like the same.

He has such an appetite for goals and a pure finishing ability that he makes it look easy, like it’s something he does for fun. For an Arsenal club that has been starved of quality finishers for a good decade or so, there should be a steady advancement in the future for this young man. Nketiah is also a strong dribbler, which couples well with his fantastic work rate, giving him the ability to penetrate defenses well enough on his own where he can set himself up for more scoring opportunities.

Naturally, Nketiah’s speed is another strength of his. He can scamper away from most defenses, which adds to the usefulness of playing him out wide. With more space to roam, he is able to exert more of an influence as opposed to just waiting for over-the-top balls or opportunities to latch onto through balls and be in on goal.

Still, Nketiah is a striker first and foremost. His ability to finish is so strong that he may be one of those rare talents that only needs this one strength to be successful.

What are his Weaknesses?

With such a specified crop of skills like Nketiah has, you don’t tend to notice the weaknesses as much, but they are still there. His control is the only big issue for Nketiah. While he has control in front of goal when it comes to putting the ball past opposing keepers, he doesn’t always have control when a shot isn’t there for the taking.

Simply put, Nketiah can get a bit too eager. He is a great dribbler and his main prerogative is to score. It only makes sense what his directive is going to be- get through anyone that may be in the way using his dribbling ability and then have a whack at the ball, which usually results in a goal.

The problem with that is that he is so hungry to score that he can get a bit out of control with his dribbling and get too ahead of himself. This is only a weakness in terms of the end result, because you can’t fault a young man for being eager to score goals. There just needs to be a bit more control introduced to his on-the-ball work.

Josh Sippie

Josh Sippie

Josh Sippie is a Yank who lives in New York City and follows all football (the real kind) religiously. He is a diehard Arsenal supporter and has found a practical use to his tortured fandom by serving as the site expert of the aptly named “Pain in the Arsenal.” He despises flopping and is proud that his fellow Americans are finally getting the picture and taking football (the real kind) seriously.
Josh Sippie

100 to Watch


Opinions5 hours ago

Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Aamer Aslam writes about what we can expect from European Champions Real Madrid after the arrival of Julen Lopetegui On...

Opinions2 days ago

Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Charles Onwuakpa writes about Carlo Ancelotti and the approach he is likely to take on at Napoli. After three intense...

Scout Report2 days ago

Scout Report: Gonçalo Paciência | Eintracht’s exquisite forward

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Eintracht Frankfurt’s striker, Gonçalo Paciência. For those who have been attentively observing...

Talent Radar4 days ago

Talent Radar: Liga MX’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Thomas Harrison writes about the 10 players to watch out for in the Liga MX for this coming season. Mexico...

Talent Radar4 days ago

20 Key Young Players to Watch from 20 La Liga Teams

Tom Canton takes a look at they key young players to watch from each of the 20 La Liga teams....

Scout Report4 days ago

Scout Report: Alphonso Davies | Speedy Canadian winger

Griffin O’Neill writes a detailed scout report about Alphonso Davies, the Vancouver Whitecaps winger. While many still believe that the...

Scout Report4 days ago

Scout Report: Diogo Gonçalves | Benfica’s tricky winger

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Benfica’s tricky winger, Diogo Goncalves Having been deprived of their biggest...

Talent Radar5 days ago

Talent Radar: 5 breakthrough players to watch in the Bundesliga

Griffin O’Neill writes about 5 young players breaking through in the Bundesliga this season. Josh Sargent // 18 // Werder...

Talent Radar1 week ago

20 Key Young Players to Watch from 20 Premier League Teams

Andrew Thompson takes a look at the key young players to watch from each of the 20 Premier League teams...

Talent Radar2 weeks ago

Talent Radar: Argentina Superliga’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Tom Robinson briefs us about the 10 best young players to watch in the Argentine Superliga Argentina may have endured...

Talent Radar2 weeks ago

Talent Radar: 5 breakthrough players to watch in the Premier League

Hrishi Anand writes about 5 young players breaking through in the Premier League this season. As is the case every...

Opinions2 weeks ago

Unai Emery at Arsenal: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Hrishi Anand writes about what Arsenal fans and the Premier League can look forward to with the arrival of Unai...

Scout Report2 weeks ago

Scout Report: Benjamin Pavard | France’s Versatile Star

Jordan McElderry provides a scout report which analyses France and Stuttgart’s promising young defender, Benjamin Pavard In recent years, France...

Scout Report2 weeks ago

Scout Report: Diogo Dalot | Manchester United’s New Full-Back

Jose Miguel Saraiva provides a scout report which analyzes Manchester United’s new full-back, Diogo Dalot FC Porto’s achievements last season...

Scout Report2 weeks ago

Scout Report: Wendel | Sporting Club de Portugal’s new box-to-box diamond

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Sporting Club de Portugal’s midfielder, Wendel. The 2018/19 pre-season has been...

Talent Radar1 month ago

World Cup 2018: Young Players Team of the Tournament

With an enthralling World Cup 2018 now completed, we an Outside of the Boot recognise the best young players under...

Talent Radar1 month ago

World Cup 2018: Talent Radar Top 5 Young Players

One of the most thrilling World Cup’s in memory came to an end with France lifting the Jules Rimet. While...

Tactical Analysis1 month ago

Tactical Analysis: Croatia 2-1 England AET | Tenacious Croatia punish England’s complacency

Charles Onwuakpa provides us with a tactical analysis of the World Cup semi final that ended Croatia 2-1 England. Croatia...

Tactical Analysis1 month ago

Tactical Analysis: France 1-0 Belgium | Set Piece Decides Game Dominated by Determined Defences

Siyang Xu provides us with a tactical analysis of the World Cup semi final that ended France 1-0 Belgium. France...

Tactical Analysis1 month ago

Tactical Analysis: Croatia 2-2 Russia | Modric and Rakitic make the difference

William Sinsky provides us with a tactical analysis of the World Cup quarter final that ended Croatia 2-2 Russia, with...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More on Outside of the Boot