Ben Parker has told the LS11 Podcast that it is vital that Leeds United keep Eddie Nketiah beyond January, insisting that the Arsenal loanee is more than good enough to start for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Nketiah has endured a difficult time since moving to Elland Road. He has made 13 appearances in the Championship, but he is yet to make a single league start for the Whites.
Leeds fans would be forgiven for fearing what will happen to Nketiah in January. Arsenal may be tempted to recall him and perhaps send him elsewhere for the second-half of the campaign.
But Parker has warned that it would be a huge blow for Leeds if they were to lose the youngster next month. And he suggested that his chance could come before the end of the campaign if he does stay.
“We need to keep him. It’s competition for places. What Nketiah offers is quality. You mentioned there about his minutes to goal ratio. Even if he’s not playing, he’s pushing Patrick Bamford because Bamford knows that he has to play well. If not, he’ll be on the bench and Eddie will start,” he told LS11.
“That’s key. You need to have the quality of an Eddie Nketiah in your squad because everyone knows he could easily start for us. At the moment, Patrick Bamford’s playing so well, he can’t get a look-in. But we need something like an Eddie to be in and around the squad between now and the end of the season.”
It would be a big boost for Leeds if they can keep Nketiah. He has scored three crucial goals in the league. And it would be no surprise to see him get plenty more should he stay.
It would also be difficult for Leeds to land a good replacement if he does go. It is clear that Bamford is Marcelo Bielsa’s first-choice striker, so any replacement for Nketiah will know that they will need to be prepared to fight for their chance to feature.