With Arsenal manager Unai Emery keen to see Eddie Nketiah gain some valuable first-team experience, it was no surprise to see the striker move away on-loan this season.
Leeds United eventually ended up winning the race to sign the talented young striker from Arsenal on a season-long loan. Nketiah had previously impressed with his limited game time for the Gunners last season, scoring two goals on his debut in the League Cup against Norwich; the most notable appearance.
Since signing, Nketiah has had to be patient to wait for his chance under Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine has mostly favoured his number nine, Patrick Bamford, this season, having started every single league game so far, forcing Nketiah to settle for a substitute role.
Nketiah’s Leeds career started very promisingly, scoring on his debut against Salford City in the League Cup before making his league debut against Brentford, where he came off the bench to score a late winner.
The Brentford substitute appearance has more or less set the tone for Nketiah’s Leeds career thus far, as he is yet to start a league game for the Whites but is making a constant impact when called upon in the second half.
Nketiah has scored three goals and registered one assist in the league so far, gaining Leeds five points in the process. Leeds would be 12th in the league without the points Nketiah has helped them gain.
There has been a lot of speculation for how long it will be before Bielsa finally hands Nketiah a starting role over the misfiring Bamford, as the latter hasn’t found the net since late August, but Bielsa is seemingly ready to stick to his guns and force Nketiah to remain patient.
The Arsenal striker’s last outing was somewhat lively as he played 45 minutes in Leeds’ 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday. Obviously, he didn’t score, but his all-round play was something that caused the Owls problems and his direct running with the ball created what was close to a goal for Jack Harrison.
Those at Arsenal will be hoping that Nketiah will be more involved in games to come to make the loan worthwhile, and the player will be eager to make a telling impact when Leeds face QPR at Elland Road on Saturday.