MOT View: Sky pundit spot on to suggest Leeds could get 'massive kick in the teeth' in January
Eddie Nketiah’s future as a Leeds United player remains a huge talking point as we edge ever closer to the January transfer window.
Nketiah, 20, has scored five goals and made 17 appearances in all competitions since joining the Whites on a season-long loan from Arsenal in the summer but is yet to start a single Championship fixture.
It has led to reported concerns at the Emirates that Nketiah’s loan spell at Leeds is not seeing him earn enough game-time to develop in the way they wished when the deal was first agreed in the summer.
According to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay, talks are ongoing between Leeds and Arsenal due to concerns about the lack of minutes that Nketiah has had in the Championship.
Have spoken to a few more people about Nketiah. Talks between Leeds and Arsenal about him staying next month very much ongoing. Not a case of Nketiah being unhappy at Leeds – just wants to be playing more (and Arsenal want him to be playing more too). #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) December 27, 2019
It is fair enough.
When a Premier League club loans a young, up-and-coming player to the Championship then they expect him to be playing a lot more regularly than just as a substitute.
If Nketiah does go back to North London then it seems as though there is a good chance he will be loaned back out again with the Bristol City CEO confirming in November that the Robins want to sign the England Under-21 international [LeedsLive].
Sky Sports pundit David Prutton has suggested that this is something that could come back and bite Leeds in the second half of the season if Nketiah ends up at Ashton Gate.
Writing for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Prutton said: “Bristol City were obviously very interested in the summer and will no doubt be keeping an eye on the situation. It would be a massive kick in the teeth if he were to go out on loan to a Championship rival and start scoring because you’d be left thinking ‘what if?'”
It would be a kick in the teeth if Nketiah went elsewhere, started games and started scoring goals – Prutton is spot on about that.
But Leeds still have one of the best centre-forwards in the league in Patrick Bamford and so far, with the Whites second in the table, Bielsa’s decision to stick with Bamford over Nketiah has been very much justified.
If Bamford gets injured or suspended for whatever reason then Nketiah is likely to start a game for Leeds eventually in the second half of the season.
That won’t happen if he is tearing it up at a Championship rival.
In other Leeds United news, fans want this youngster to start against Birmingham.