Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has claimed that Eddie Nketiah could be the difference in the Whites’ promotion push.
The 20-year-old came off the bench to score a late equaliser against Preston North End Last night and ensure that Leeds didn’t leave Deepdale empty-handed.
The result also means that Leeds remain second in the league table–just two points back from league leaders West Bromwich Albion.
Should Nketiah start in place of Bamford against Sheffield Wednesday?
Nketiah signed on loan from Arsenal in the summer and is now the Whites leading scorer with five goals, despite not starting once in the Championship.
Marcelo Bielsa has started Patrick Bamford in every league game this season, staying loyal to the 26-year-old despite the fact that he hasn’t scored since August.
Bamford has scored four goals for the Whites this season, one less than Nketiah, who he has played 599 minutes more than in the 2019/20 campaign.
COMPARISON: Eddie Nketiah vs. Patrick Bamford:
Conversion rate: 28%-8%
Mins per goal: 78-247
Shots per goal: 3.6-12.0
Nketiah is now Leeds' leading scorer with 5 goals this season. Patrick Bamford's alarming 8% conversion rate looks even worse against Nketiah's 28%. pic.twitter.com/FqZQBBJZJJ
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) October 23, 2019
Speaking on BBC Radio Leeds after the 1-1 draw with Preston, Whelan revealed that he felt the Arsenal loanee was the more natural goalscorer, which he suggested could be the difference in achieving promotion.
He said: “At the end of the day goals win you games and they save you games, and the natural goalscorer is Eddie Nketiah.
“He’s the one that is more instinctive. He’s the one that’s got the better finishing ability.
“That’s what you want as a centre-forward. That’s what gets you promotion, a natural goalscorer.”
Leeds’ next game is a trip to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday and ex-boss Garry Monk.
Monk has done a fantastic job since taking charge of the Owls in September and has helped them climb to third in the table–just one point below the Whites.
The Bamford v Nketiah debate has been going on for the majority of the season but you just wonder whether last night’s game could be a turning point.
Bamford squandered a big chance when the game was goalless and then Nketiah came on to rescue a point for for Leeds.
There is more to being a striker than just scoring goals but the Whites have struggled to find the net recently–scoring just five goals in their last six games–so perhaps it is time for Bielsa to follow Whelan’s suggestion and back the man who has scored more frequently this season.