Eddie Nketiah has opened up about who he is closest with in the Arsenal dressing room.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has known several of his current teammates at the Emirates Stadium for many years.

Nketiah came through the Arsenal academy alongside the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, and Reiss Nelson. He has also known Arsenal’s club-record summer signing Declan Rice since his childhood. 

It is unsurprising that he shares a particularly strong bond with these players, and the club are fortunate to be in the rare position of having so many academy graduates, all of a similar age, playing key roles in the first team at the same time.

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Mikel Arteta will recognise the special connection this quartet of Hale End starlets have with the club and will be keen to cultivate their careers so that they can all remain in the first team picture. 

Speaking to the Gunners’ official website, Nketiah has spoken out about what it means to have grown up alongside Saka, Nelson, and Smith Rowe. The 24-year-old said, “I think I’ve got a good relationship with everyone…Probably particularly Reiss. I’ve obviously played with him for a long time, and also Bukayo too. The Hale Ends boys basically. We’ve all done the same journey, we can relate to each other. So I’ve got a good relationship with everyone but if I had to pick one, I’d say Reiss, he’s like a brother to me.”

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Nelson and Nketiah hoping for a big season with Arsenal

Nelson, like Nketiah, is on a long-term contract with Arsenal. The winger will be hoping to have a bigger impact in the Arsenal first team this season than he could last time out, when injury cut short his campaign.

However, despite only making 11 Premier League appearances last season, Nelson was still able to conjure up one of the most memorable moments of the entire term. The 23-year-old struck a last gasp winner against Bournemouth to complete a remarkable comeback and keep Arsenal’s title tilt on track at that stage.

As for Nketiah, the former England under-21 international is already off the mark for the new season. Named in the starting XI in place of the injured Gabriel Jesus, the No. 14 struck the first goal in Arsenal’s opening day win over Nottingham Forest.

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