Eddie Nketiah is so scary in front of goal he turned a keeper into a ghost
Eddie Nketiah could be forgiven for thinking he has just relived the half a season he spent on loan at Leeds United during his last week of international duty.
Despite chipping in with some valuable goals while on loan at Leeds from Arsenal, Nketiah was unable to usurp the beleaguered Patrick Bamford in Marcelo Bielsa’s pecking order and had to watch from the bench as his fellow striker toiled away with the ease of a man for whom gravity weighs considerably heavier.
While Nketiah was busy scoring a 10-minute hat-trick as England’s Under-21s routed Kosovo 6-1 last week, England’s senior side were being bluntly spearheaded by Harry Kane to a thrillingly unconvincing win over Iceland.
The Tottenham striker – who, let’s not be daft, is obviously a brilliant footballer – repeated the trick in England’s 0-0 draw against Denmark, continuing the sense that he has spent the best part of two years in a permanent state of ‘working his way back to full match sharpness’.
Nketiah, meanwhile, was also offering more of the same as England’s Under-21s won 2-1 in Austria, scoring the opener to take his tally to 12 for the Under-21s, meaning only Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers have scored more in the history of the team.
The wildly contrasting fortunes of those two players underline that this is no guarantee of future success, but the manner in which Nketiah scored means we can’t help but get excited about a player this ice-cold in front of goal.
Lovely finish from Eddie Nketiah for England U21s 😎pic.twitter.com/nX3tPiCqhi
— Goal (@goal) September 8, 2020
It’s not so much the fact Nketiah chipped the goalkeeper, it’s more the fact that the sight of him being given time and space to pick his spot was enough to make Fabian Ehmann change physical form; at first he just shrinks, but then he becomes seemingly transparent, as though Austria have given a pair of goalkeeping gloves and the No.1 shirt to an apparition.
The demands of making it as an elite-level striker mean Nketiah will no doubt need to add more strings to his bow if he’s to establish himself for both club and country.
But he’s already shown that all he needs is a chance, and when one arises you can be fairly certain he’s going to take it.