‘They have big futures’ – Xhaka tips Arsenal youngsters for the top


The Gunners midfielder expressed his optimism after Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock scored vital goals against Southampton on Thursday

Granit Xhaka says Arsenal’s youngsters have “big futures” after Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock led the way in the Gunners’ latest win.

Nketiah and Willock scored the two goals in the north Londoners’ 2-0 win over Southampton on Thursday, the club’s first since the Premier League’s restart.

In the 20th minute, Nketiah opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season, having netted five times while on loan with Leeds United for the first half of the season.

Willock’s goal, meanwhile, sealed the win in the 87th minute – his fifth strike for the club in 34 appearances.

At just 21 and 20 years old, Nketiah and Willock are seen as vital for Arsenal’s future, with the two emerging as key players already this season.

And Xhaka, one of Arsenal’s more experienced players, believes that the club’s younger group are already stepping up to help as the team looks to build on its most recent win.

“I think we have some very good youngsters and they have big futures,” he said, as quoted by the Evening Standard. “They are already helping us and they keep working hard as well.

“Of course, we had to win yesterday [to keep our hopes of qualifying for Europe alive].

“We didn’t play well last week [at Manchester City] and then we were a little bit unlucky [at Brighton], but yesterday we played very, very compact we were aggressive in a lot of the duels and we deserved the three points.

“I think we worked very hard, we had a game plan and Mikel [Arteta] did very good preparation for us.

“But sometimes you need luck, sometimes it is not your day but yesterday we started again with another three points and we want to keep going.

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“We are happy to take the first three points since the lockdown and we hope to continue like this.”

Arsenal currently sit ninth in the Premier League, one point behind eighth-place Sheffield United and two points behind rivals Tottenham in seventh place.

The Gunners will face Sheffield United on Sunday in the FA Cup before returning to the Emirates Stadium next Wednesday to take on Norwich.


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