Wenger explains Nketiah masterstroke in League Cup triumph

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The Gunners boss talks about the introduction of the teenager, who eventually recorded a double at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has shed light on his decision to throw on Eddie Nketiah, who turned out to be the hero of Tuesday's League Cup clash with Norwich City.

One-nil down, Arsenal brought on the 18-year-old of Ghanaian descent for Reiss Nelson in the 85th minute.

And what an impact he had as he netted the equalizer with his first touch just 15 seconds after being on the pitch before netting the winner in extra time.

"We lacked ideas, we lacked a little bit to create clear-cut chances," Wenger explained.

"I was impressed by the defensive performance of Norwich and so you sit there on the bench and think ‘What can we do to be a bit more dangerous?’. 

"It was the occasion where we had to take a big gamble because there was not much time to go and I know that Eddie can score a goal."

Nketiah tapped home his first goal from close range after Francis Coquelin flicked on Theo Walcott's corner.

The striker's second effort came in a similar fashion, finding space to head Mohamed Elneny's corner into the roof of the net.

"I know that he has character and is not afraid," Wenger added.

"He smells the combination movements, he can give and go and once a player has that in his game, they have always a chance. 

"The guys who can understand that if they give the ball somewhere and they can get it back and know where to get it back, the quality of reception is a very important quality. I would say the quality of the reception, he has had. 

"I just said that if I had experienced players on the bench, strikers for example, I would certainly in the end have put them on and not Eddie. 

"Here you have no chance to put an experienced player on, so you try to find a young player who can give you a chance. 

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"If we speak about Eddie, it is because there was no experienced striker on the bench."

An England youth international, Nketiah, who is still chasing his Arsenal league debut, is eligible to represent Ghana at senior level due to his parentage.


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