Eddie Nketiah hits out at his doubters after signing a new long-term deal at Arsenal
‘They extended my deal for a reason’: Eddie Nketiah lashes out at his doubters after signing a new long-term contract with Arsenal… as he explains why he picked up Thierry Henry’s iconic No 14 shirt
- Eddie Nketiah wants to prove himself on the pitch after new Arsenal deal
- He will be making £100,000 a week at Gunners after a strong end to last season
- Lots of reasons to pick iconic number 14 – but he likes to put his own spin on it
Eddie Nketiah has defended himself against opponents after signing a new long-term contract with Arsenal.
The 23-year-old striker is said to be a free agent this summer, but despite interest elsewhere, he has signed with the Gunners until 2027, in a deal estimated to be worth £100,000 a week.
Good form at the end of last season saw him score five goals in his last seven games, and the club is eager to develop his talent.
Eddie Nketiah (right) eager to show his worth on the pitch after signing a new Arsenal deal
“When you get a run of eight first-team games, you get that database and that platform to show what you can do,” Nketiah said. The Telegraph†
“I’ve worked a lot with the manager on playing with my back to goal, on the spaces to fill in and linking the game.
“Of course it’s developed, but at the same time you don’t get here just by standing in the penalty area and scoring a goal.
‘People are always going to say things, but I know what I can do. The people who have played with me, played against me, the coaches who have worked with me, I know how they feel about me.
Every team needs a team to compete. The club is always looking for ways to strengthen. They extended my contract and they did it for a reason.’
Nketiah scored five goals in his last seven games of the 2021-22 season, leading to a new deal
As the 23-year-old remains Arsenal’s one and only striker, the club is eager for new additions to the front line, including a rumor hunt for Gabriel Jesus.
“Whoever comes in, you like the challenge,” Nketiah added. “You make them feel welcome, and then you fight and fight.”
Nketiah took on the iconic No 14 shirt as part of his new deal, most notably worn by Thierry Henry on his way to scoring 175 goals for Arsenal.
As a product of the Arsenal academy system since he was a teenager, he was aware of the shirt’s rich history.
The number 14 shirt was previously decorated by Arsenal’s record scorer Thierry Henry
The song was available after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s move to Barcelona in January, but Nketiah is keen to make it his own.
“I joined the club at age 14, I wore 14 on loan to Leeds and I even lived at number 14 at one point,” the England Under-21 defender revealed.
“When the opportunity presented itself, it was hard to say no. I know what it means for the club and the fans. It’s a nice feeling, an iconic song.
“We know it’s a special shirt and Thierry has made it cool to wear this shirt, just like he did with long socks and gloves. It’s what we grew up with.
“I just try to be the best version of myself. I’m focused on creating my own memories in that shirt, putting my own stamp on it.”
Nketiah’s decision to take the iconic 14 has been criticized by some, including former Spurs defender Jamie O’Hara.
However, it was also defended by Arsenal greats such as Ian Wright, who held the record for most Gunners goals before Henry broke it.