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Arsenal's youth served in International Champions Cup
Nketiah and Willock pace Gunners in 3-0 win
 
Published Saturday, July 20, 2019 10:50 pm
by Sam Palian | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | TROY HULL
Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah, 20, celebrates after scoring a goal in their 2-0 win against Fiorentina in the International Champions Cup at Bank of America Stadium.

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Youth in professional soccer is becoming more vital and it has proved so for Arsenal in the International Champions Cup.

Eddie Nketiah, 20, scored two goals in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Fiorentina Saturday at Bank of America Stadium, while his 19-year-old teammate, Joe Willock, scored the third.

“It’s good, you know, preseason’s always nice for that and to give the younger boys a chance. I feel like a lot of us have had a lot of chances and a lot of game time,” said Nketiah. “It’s nice to obviously get chances and show what you can do because at the end of the day you want to be playing every week in the starting 11, so I feel like these kinds of games can help you make a case for yourself.”

Nketiah scored his second and third goals of the ICC in the match, continuing to do what he has done since earning his academy scholarship at 16. He’s scored three of Arsenal’s five goals during the tournament and showing the consistent goal scoring that eventually moved him on to the big club.

“I feel like just getting more experience you can actually develop and actually get more comfortable playing and as a young boy coming into the team it’s always hard, but I feel like I’m at a good stage where I am at the moment,” said Nketiah. “I feel comfortable on the team and the team always made me feel welcome and allowed me to show myself and play well. I just try to always work hard and do my best for the team and thankfully, to have a good night like tonight to get some goals.”

Nketiah was originally brought up by Arsène Wenger and is now playing under Urai Emery, who is in his second season as manager.

“Last year, when we could give him chances to be in the pitch, he made it very worth it. And his progress can confirm, and we want this progress with every player,” Emery said. “If you earn being with us, it’s because I can promise you, you are going to have minutes.”

 

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