'We need to keep him' - Parker reacts to Leeds exit reports surrounding 'quality' player
Ben Parker has claimed that it would be ideal for Leeds United if they managed to keep hold of Eddie Nketiah past the end of the January transfer window.
Nketiah, 20, joined Leeds on a season-long loan from Arsenal in the summer with the Premier League club clearly eyeing the deal as one that would help the young forward develop.
However Nketiah is yet to start a league game for Leeds and has instead managed 13 Championship appearances as a substitute.
In those appearances, the England Under-21 international has done quite well, scoring three goals and supplying one assist.
However the level of game-time is not enough for Arsenal with the Daily Mail reporting earlier this month that the Gunners are set to recall Nketiah and plan to loan him out elsewhere.
Ex-Leeds left-back Parker is adamant that would be a bad thing for Leeds, despite the fact that Nketiah is being kept out of the team each week by Patrick Bamford.
“We need to keep him, it’s competition for places,” Parker told LS11.
“What Nketiah offers is quality.
“You mentioned there about his minutes to goal ratio. Even if he’s not playing, he’s pushing Patrick Bamford because Bamford knows that he has to play well. If not, he’ll be on the bench and Eddie will start.
“That’s key. You need to have the quality of an Eddie Nketiah in your squad because everyone knows he could easily start for us.
“At the moment, Patrick Bamford’s playing so well, he can’t get a look-in. But we need something like an Eddie to be in and around the squad between now and the end of the season.”
Unfortunately, whether Leeds want to keep Nketiah or not, it does not seem as though the ball is in their court.
Arsenal have the option to recall Nketiah as they please and the only thing that might change their mind now is if Marcelo Bielsa starts the loanee more regular.
However after his poor display off the bench against Cardiff last week, that seems unlikely.
But Parker does make a good point about how Nketiah’s goals-per-minute ratio is making Bamford a more prolific striker for the Whites.
Hopefully a good replacement can be snapped up in January if Nketiah does return to the Emirates.
In other Leeds United news, Bielsa bent Andrea Radrizzani’s ear every day on WhatsApp to sign this one player.