By David Woods

2nd Jan, 2020 | 1:20pm

Bielsa says Leeds youngster can play back-up to Patrick Bamford after Nketiah exit

Eddie Nketiah has gone back to Arsenal, with a classy wave to the travelling Leeds United fans, and a couple of tweets that show he’s got a good head on his shoulders as well as goal-scoring feet. 

To be honest, it’s come as a bit of a relief amid ever-increasing speculation that he would be going back to the Emirates at some point.

We also thought it was odd that Marcelo Bielsa chose to start him in the knowledge that it would be his last game for the club.

It was a massive game for Leeds and with Patrick Bamford fit, it seemed like the wrong choice. Maybe that’s easy to see with hindsight – Bielsa said Nketiah won his place on merit.

The search will now begin for his replacement. We’d love to see Che Adams come in – he was named as the number one target for Leeds but they will have a job on to convince him to drop down a division to play back-up to Patrick Bamford.

That’s the prospect, for the start at least, for whoever comes in. Bamford was immense against West Brom and changed the game after Nketiah went off.

In the meantime, Bielsa has said that 20-year-old Tyler Roberts could be the man to provide the back-up.

Talking after the game last night, Bielsa said, “We think he’s a choice at centre-forward and also as playmaker. He can play as a winger too.” [Leeds Live]

Roberts has played up top for Leeds before, although he hasn’t started there for over 14 months.

However, it’s not easy getting a run of games out of Roberts. He’s been on-and-off injured ever since he signed from West Brom and he’s only made 10 appearances this season.

He was missing from the squad last night with a hamstring issue after returning from injury against Birmingham.

With no one else available at Leeds (Bielsa obviously doesn’t think Ryan Edmondson is ready), the task will fall to Roberts until a new signing comes in, but the Leeds youngster is not a reliable back-up option.

Leeds have said it’s a priority to bring another striker in. The sooner that happens, the better, because we think as it stands Leeds are one injury away from a full-blown crisis.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay: Bielsa has found the player he wants to replace Jack Clarke at Leeds