Eddie Nketiah has broken the England Under-21 all-time goalscoring record set by English football legends Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers. The 21-year-old Arsenal’s striker achieved this feat on Tuesday when he scored his 14th goal against Turkey which qualified England for European Under-21 Championship.
Before now, Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers held the record of the all-time highest goalscorers for England at the under-21 level. They scored 13 goals each before the end of their time at the under-21 level.
On Eddie Nketiah‘s record-breaking Tuesday night, his excitement was not just about securing qualification for the England under-21 team by scoring the winning goal but adding himself into the record books of English football.
In England’s match against Turkey, England took the lead in the 17th minute of the match via Huseyin Turkmen’s own goal, which was deflected from Ryan Sessegnon’s cross.
Turkey fought back but could not produce any goal even when the country had an opportunity to score from the penalty spot. Turkey’s under-21 talisman, Halil Dervisoglu, played the penalty into the hands of England‘s goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Afterward, England took over the proceedings and earned themselves a penalty and Eddie Nketiah stepped up to take the spot-kick which would have been enough to earn him his record-breaking 14th goal. Unfortunately for the Arsenal’s star, he directed the spot-kick to the sidebar.
At this point, it was already looking like the youngster would not be able to break the long-standing record in his 12th match for England under-21. Eddie Nketiah however stepped up his game and positioned himself to get Ryan Sessegnon’s assist which earned him the England under-21 record-breaking goal in the 88th minute of the match.
Nketiah’s redeeming goal which gave England under-21 team a pass to the youth European Championship scheduled to take place in 2021, was almost canceled as Turkey’s Halil Dervisoglu scored 2 minutes after the regular 90 minutes mark to end the match 2-1 in favor of England.
Hours after the match, Eddie Nketiah took to his Instagram account to celebrate the qualification and his under-21 all-time goalscoring record. The Arsenal’s forward shared a picture showing when he was celebrating the match-winning and record-breaking goal. He also shared a picture where he was posing with the man of the match award.
In the caption, the youngster wrote: “Qualification secured ✅
All-time U21 Record broken✅
Night to remember, God is good 🙏🏾” tagging the England football team’s Instagram page with a telephone emoji which could signify that he was asking for a call-up to England senior national team.
In his post-match interview, Eddie Nketiah described the Tuesday night experience where he broke the all-time goalscoring record, win European under-21 championship qualification for England, and won the man of the match award, as a dream come true for him.
“It is amazing”, said Nketiah. “It was nice to get the three points firstly but to get the record and be alongside those names and players, it is a dream come true.”
“It’s a proud moment for me and my family. Hopefully, I can add to that total as well.”
Below is England under-21 vs Turkey highlights, plus the record-breaking goal of Eddie Nketiah
Eddie Nketiah has established himself in the heart of Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta as he has been featured in all the club’s four Premier League matches so far in the 2020-2021 season scoring just a goal.
In total, Nketiah has played 43 times for Arsenal since he gained promotion to the club’s senior team in 2019. He has scored a total number of 9 goals for the North London club.