Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has revealed his decision to represent England over Ghana, emphasizing that it felt like a “natural progression” in his footballing journey.
The 24-year-old’s choice has been met with great pride, and he believes the timing is perfect for his senior debut with the Three Lions.
While Ghana had courted the talented striker, Nketiah found it impossible to resist the allure of representing England.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Nketiah expressed his pride, saying, “It’s a really proud moment for me, my family, and friends. It has been quite the journey to get here – a lot of ups and downs.”
“Once the call-up was there, an offer was on the table, it was really hard to turn down and something which I felt was a natural progression for myself at this stage.”
Although he was eligible to play for Ghana due to his Ghanaian heritage, Nketiah has been a standout player for England’s under-21 side, holding the title of their all-time leading goal-scorer with 16 goals. Additionally, he has solidified his position in Arsenal’s forward line, netting two goals in their first four games of the season.
“I’m a much better player than I was maybe two or three years ago,” Nketiah emphasized during a press conference at St George’s Park, England’s training headquarters.
“I’m coming in at a good time and I’m in a good moment. I feel confident and feel ready. I know I’m still going to improve. I’m humble enough to know that I’m not the finished article.”
Nketiah revealed that his family was with him when he received the call-up from England. He described the moment as surreal and emotionally charged.
“When I got the text it was surreal. I am usually a calm guy but I did lose a bit of composure for a second.
“It was an amazing moment – all my family were really emotional. I have worked really hard to get up to this point so it was kind of nice to get that recognition. I don’t think I said much, I was just checking my phone to make sure it said ‘selected’.
He shared, “My parents were really emotional because they sacrificed a lot for me to get here. It was just really nice to see that kind of happiness and pride on their faces.”