Eddie Nketiah is already a fan favourite at Leeds United, with his next task at Elland Road to convince Marcelo Bielsa that he’s the man that should be leading the line for the Whites.
Leeds persuaded Arsenal to send the England under-21 international their way, but there will be some frustration that Nketiah is behind Patrick Bamford in the pecking order as things stand.
There’s a few who are worried Arsenal will recall him and send him elsewhere given his lack of minutes so far, with an article from The Athletic even suggesting that Bamford’s importance is only growing under Bielsa.
With all this in mind, we take a look at Nketiah’s time with Leeds so far this season in the Championship alone…
In total, the 20-year-old has managed only 196 minutes in the Championship, which have brought two goals.
Additionally, Nketiah has two to his name in the League Cup, but with Leeds now out of the competition, extending that record isn’t possible.
Those two goals have come from four of eight shots on target, suggesting that Nketiah has the ability to be the clinical figure Leeds need.
However, he’s yet to register an assist (Bamford has one), whilst Nketiah has assisted only two shots at the moment in time.
Whilst he’s lacking there, many see him as a ‘box player’, with 19 touches in the box backing that up.
Additionally, we have focused on the 27 offensive duels the Arsenal loanee has won, which is just under 26%. Bamford, who many believe has more battling qualities than his teammates, has won over 30% of his offensive duels, which, maybe, is a factor behind Bielsa’s thinking.
That’s what Bielsa is: a thinker. He will be asking questions of himself and his strikers, working out who is the man to score the goals to fire Leeds to promotion.
At the minute Bamford has his backing, but there’s plenty of clamour on the Elland Road terrace for Nketiah to get his chance. However, that might be down to the fear of Arsenal recalling the young striker.
Undoubtedly, Arsenal will want to see more of him, with the ball seemingly in their court when it comes to Nketiah’s future.