Arsenal great Martin Keown and Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand have been speaking about the potential of the Gunners’ youth including Eddie Nketiah and fans will love what they’ve had to say.
Mikel Arteta made the decision to trust some of his more experienced players in their fourth round FA Cup tie at Bournemouth and it worked a treat in the first half as they led 2-0.
Bukayo Saka and Nketiah bagged the goals which gave Arsenal a two-goal advantage within the first half an hour of the contest.
Both Keown and Ferdinand were in the BT Sport studio for the fixture at Bournemouth and they lavished praise on Arteta’s young guns prior to the contest.
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On Gabriel Martinelli, Ferdinand started by saying: “Other than just his composure in front of goal, his work rate and helping out the likes of Saka is great, with the left-back also having impressed on many occasions this season.
“He (Martinelli) is the person they will be showing videos of when they speak about the culture they are trying to build. The fundamentals have to be right regardless of the skills.”
Keown then interjected: “He is always on the move. He smells a chance and he knows where to be.”
Asked if Nketiah will be part of the club’s future in the long term, Keown continued: “Well, it’s very obvious that whilst he is trying to keep a lid on their expectations, Arteta is giving them an opportunity.
“This young man is coming back from Leeds and again he is a very good mover. He has a massive future.”
On Arsenal’s youth as a whole, Keown added: “They are getting chances now under Arteta. He is going with youth. There is an energy now at Arsenal.”
Ferdinand added: “What’s great is that the young players underneath this will be looking to get into the team. Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock are great players too.
“Arsenal have always produced good young players but not many of them have stayed in the team. This is an opportunity for them now.”