- Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal saw off Norwich City in the Carabao Cup
- Nketiah, 18, was in Chelsea’s academy but has been at Arsenal since leaving at 14
- Arsene Wenger hailed the youngster and appeared to question Chelsea’s call
Arsene Wenger said he ‘didn’t know’ why Chelsea would let Eddie Nketiah leave their academy after the 18-year-old’s two-goal starring role on his Arsenal home debut.
London-born striker Nketiah came off the bench to score an 85th-minute equaliser against Norwich City in the Carabao Cup before plundering the winner in extra time.
But Arsenal’s latest youth hero was part of Chelsea’s academy until the age of 14 when he made the move across London after being released.
Eddie Nketiah scored twice for Arsenal on his home debut against Norwich City on Tuesday
Arsene Wenger said he did not know why Chelsea let Nketiah leave their academy aged 14
Wenger, having witnessed the first player born after his appointment in September 1996 to score for the Gunners, said he was unsure of Chelsea’s reasoning behind letting Nketiah leave.
‘I don’t know what happened at Chelsea,’ the Frenchman said. ‘He has scored goals at youth level and sometimes I don’t know why they let him go.
‘I don’t know why. You see that more and more. Young people travel from one club to another. I don’t know.’
Nketiah has impressed in Arsenal’s youth ranks to earn his first-team chance this season
Nketiah was used as a midfielder at Chelsea but his development has soared as a forward at Arsenal, leading to him earning first-team appearances against BATE Borisov in the Europa League and Tuesday night’s game this season.
‘He has top quality and is one of player who was with me in pre-season and I knew what he could do,’ Wenger added. ‘I must say I am impressed think he was not even conceived when I was already here.
‘But it is good as well. Life gives a chance to young people and hopefully he will make a long career at Arsenal. We are proud to give young players a chance.