Arsenal product Eddie Nketiah has admitted that Unai Emery and the Gunners coaching staff are keeping close tabs on his progress while on loan at Leeds United, via quotes by Leeds Live.
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The North London outfit rate Nketiah very highly and were initially reluctant to sanction a temporary move for the 20-year-old, as Gunners boss Emery had been impressed by how the striker performed during their pre-season tour of the United States (Football.London) – where he scored against Bayern Munich and Fiorentina.
Having the opportunity to play first-team football on a regular basis proved to be too attractive for both the player and manager, though, and an agreement was reached on Deadline Day for a one-season loan deal, with Leeds edging competition from numerous second-tier sides including Bristol City.
Nketiah is far from forgotten in N5, however, as the striker has revealed that he receives daily text messages from Emery, but is pleased to have his manager’s support.
“I’m in contact with them really regularly, and they always look out for me, see how I’m doing and they constantly text me, the managers and the coaching staff,” he said.
“It’s really nice to have that feeling of home [being] behind you and [the] support and I feel like I’m here to develop and improve as a player. I feel like they’re all keen and willing to listen and see how I’m doing, so it’s nice to have that support behind you.”
Nketiah added: “I have individual goals I’m trying to work on and improve on in my game, but the main thing for coming here was to get game time and test myself at this level.”
While Arsenal have not issued any set targets to Nketiah, Leeds will be hoping the Gunners do not apply any added pressure on the striker to agitate for further minutes in the future, given he has so far been resigned to a substitute role in the Championship as support to Patrick Bamford (WhoScored).
The North London outfit have already sought to secure assurances from the Elland Road natives that their youth prospect will be offered a fair crack at the division, by insisting upon potential penalty clauses (Football Insider) being inserted into the one-season loan agreement, which would see Leeds fined if Nketiah is not getting regular game time under Marcelo Bielsa.
So far it has only been in the Carabao Cup where Nketiah has featured prominently, with the youngster starting against Salford City and again in the Second Round tie at home to Stoke. But the Potters win has eliminated the potential route for further action in the knockout tournament, while only late substitute appearances have been forthcoming in the Championship.
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