In the loan signing of Arsenal youngster, Eddie Nketiah, Leeds United have acquired one of the brightest young talents in English football.
With the 20-year-old having broken through at the Gunners during the 2017/2018 season, big things are expected of the youngster who scored a memorable brace against Norwich City in what was just his second-ever senior appearance for the Arsenal first team.
Arsenal had previously looked to have loaned him out to Bundesliga side Augsburg to gain more experience, before the move was scuppered by an injury to Danny Welbeck that left the Gunners short of cover up front, thus it has come as little surprise to many that the youngster has finally been given his chance to go out and impress his parent club whilst out on loan at Leeds.
Given the blistering start he has made to his spell at Elland Road, it is only natural that our latest spotlight piece focuses on Eddie Nketiah.
Thus far this season, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United team have operated in an open and expansive 4-1-4-1 formation, with Bamford or Nketiah leading the line as a lone striker, with support provided by the four supporting midfield players when on the attack.
Despite only appearing from the bench for Leeds in the league so far this season, Nketiah has made the most of the opportunities given to him by Bielsa so far, with the young striker scoring two goals in four substitute appearances this season, a feat that is made even more impressive by the fact that he has only played 78 minutes across the space of those four games.
The 20-year-old has also been clinical when on the field of play, with the Arsenal loanee averaging 1.5 shots per game, meaning that he doesn’t necessarily need many opportunities to find the back of the net, however this is a statistic he will look to improve upon when given the opportunity to play from the start as opposed to the bench.
It is also worth noting that 0.8 of Nketiah’s shots come from within the six-yard box, suggesting that he possesses the goalscoring instinct that allows him to be in the right place at the right time, which should prove beneficial, particularly with the large amount of chances that Leeds create over the course of 90 minutes.
Lastly, one thing that may be key to Nketiah displacing Patrick Bamford from the Leeds starting 11 is improving his pass success rate, which at present is a poor 66.7%.
Getting this percentage up will allow the young forward to fit more seemingly into Bielsa’s 4-1-4-1 formation that requires the lone striker to hold onto the ball and bring other players into play by laying the ball off.