MOT View: Nketiah must make Leeds bench v Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough, Huddersfield, Hull City, Cardiff City, Fulham, Preston and Birmingham. Leeds United have got seven games to convince Arsenal and new manager Freddie Ljungberg that Eddie Nketiah should stay at Leeds for the second half of the season.
Marcelo Bielsa wants him. In fact, he went one step further and said last week that he hoped the Arsenal loanee would stay at Elland Road for this season and the 20/21 campaign.
To do that he has to get some game-time between now and December 29th.
Nketiah has been out for a while and it would go against Bielsa’s norm for him to make the bench this afternoon against Middlesbrough so soon after returning. The 45 minutes he played on Friday for the Under-23s were his first since the end of October.
However, Tyler Roberts is out injured and Leeds could do with attacking reinforcements. But more than that, Leeds now have to show Arsenal that they have big plans for Nketiah for the rest of the season.
If Nketiah is recalled, Leeds will have to replace him in January and it won’t be easy to get someone else of his quality in, especially as any club will know the player will be coming in as understudy to Patrick Bamford.
And we think Nketiah is ready. He looked sharp in his 45 minutes for the Under-23s against Sheffield United on Friday. He didn’t score but he did have a positive effect on the game.
Bielsa must put him on the bench and he must start involving him in games between now and the January transfer window.
Leeds can’t afford to lose him.
In other Leeds United news… Live from Thorp Arch: Nketiah returns – Leeds U23 player ratings v Sheff Utd