MOT View: Leeds fans can relax over Nketiah future for now after Phil Hay claims
Leeds striker Eddie Nketiah had the pick of three teams last summer.
Bristol City’s pitch was built around guaranteed game time. Fortuna Dusseldorf offered Bundesliga football. Leeds had the Marcelo Bielsa vision, as sold to him by director of football Victor Orta.
Nketiah had the final say and he went with Leeds.
Hearing Eddie Nketiah travelling to Leeds as we speak to pen season-long loan from Arsenal after #LUFC DoF Victor Orta made impressive late pitch to sell Bielsa vision & convince him to reject likes of Bristol City, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Swansea City #BristolCity #f95 #swansfc #afc
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 8, 2019
Cut to the end of October and he’s still waiting for his first league start. Would he pick again if he could go back in time?
Arsenal have a recall option in January but it’s only active if he fails to hit a certain amount of game time.
Bristol City are waiting in the wings but there was some succour for Leeds fans concerned they might lose a natural goal-scorer to one of their Championship rivals in January.
In a piece for The Athletic, Phil Hay revealed that “sources close to the London club say they are relaxed about Nketiah’s situation” and as for Nketiah, he “wants to be more involved but, according to those who know him, is neither agitating nor climbing the walls at Thorp Arch.”
Unai Emery said, “Each match he plays with Leeds and the national team is important for him and important for Arsenal. We want him to get confidence and take experience and use it in the future for us. He is maybe playing less than we want but I am sure he will play more.”
That should come as a big comfort for Leeds fans after an interview given by Nketiah after he scored a hat-trick for the England Under-21s, where his words about not being happy as a sub at Leeds were spun beyond what any goal-scorer would say when he’s not starting.
It’s obviously a fluid situation and no starts between now and the January window opening could change things. But, as things stand, it seems like there’s no cause for alarm.
A start against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, though, is surely long overdue.
In other Leeds news, MOT Super Fans: Will Bielsa’s stubbornness cost Leeds promotion?