Eddie Nketiah could leave Leeds United in January due to a lack of game time, that is according to Noel Whelan.
The youngster joined the Whites on a season-long loan from Arsenal in the summer, but has not started a single Championship match so far with Patrick Bamford preferred by Marcelo Bielsa.
Instead, Nketiah has had to make do with substitute appearances as well as a couple of League Cup starts against Salford City and Stoke City.
Despite the limited game time he has made an impact at Elland Road, scoring four goals and claiming one assist in all competitions.
But Whelan believes that if Bielsa continues to only use Nketiah as a substitute, the player could be recalled by Arsenal in the winter transfer window.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker said: “There is the possibility he will be recalled in January. It all depends on how much game time he is getting, and at the moment he is only playing as a sub.
“He has showed a lot of talent and potential, and is a really exciting young striker. He’s loved by the fans. A lot of other clubs wanted him in the summer and you can see why.
“It’s a problem for Leeds as Nketiah would be starting at other clubs in the Championship. You look at Bristol City who have lost Benik Afobe for the rest of the season.
“Much depends on the player’s character. It may only be a short time before he starts getting frustrated. How much is he willing to stay patient?”
As one of Arsenal’s top young talents, they will want him to be playing regular first team football in order for him to progress, so it is perfectly reasonable to think that they may well recall him in January.
Unai Emery actually wanted Nketiah to stay at the Emirates this season rather than going out on loan, so he may think that the player might as well be on the Arsenal bench as opposed to the Leeds one.
Alternatively, there were plenty of other clubs interested in the 20-year-old in the summer, most notably Bristol City, so it could be that the Gunners send him elsewhere in an effort to get him more minutes, which would make perfect sense from their point of view.
Eddie Nketiah or Patrick Bamford?
Leeds fans, should Marcelo Bielsa be starting Eddie Nketiah more often or is Patrick Bamford’s position as first-choice striker fair? Let us know in the comments below…
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