Eddie Nketiah has already written himself into the Leeds United record books after becoming the youngest player to score on his Leeds debut since one of the club’s most legendary players.
The 20-year-old made his debut for Leeds on Tuesday night in the first round of the Carabao Cup against League Two side Salford City, and the striker broke the deadlock for the Whites – as Leeds ran out 3-0 winners.
An excellent pass from Jamie Shackleton freed Helder Costa down the right flank and the Portugal international’s inch-perfect cross found Nketiah who tapped home from inside the six-yard box.
Nketiah has since been praised for his all-round display as well as his predatory instinct inside the penalty area, something which has been missing since Marcelo Bielsa took over at Elland Road in the summer of 2018.
But along with the praise, Nketiah has become the youngest debutant goalscorer in 21 years. Back in 1998, Leeds legend Alan Smith came on as a fresh-faced 18-year-old against Liverpool and found the back of the net.
Eddie Nketiah became only the 76th player to score for @LUFC on their competitive debut. First since Pierre-Michel Lasogga in 2017. Youngest player since Alan Smith in 1998.👏 #LUFC pic.twitter.com/Rn4A965RJo
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) August 13, 2019
It highlights two things. One, just how good a start Nketiah has made and the positivity surrounding his signing is certainly justified. But it also shows just how good Nketiah is, for such a young player.
The England Under-21 international is rated massively by Arsenal fans – with Nketiah even drawing praise from the club’s official account and Gunners legend Ian Wright following his debut goal for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Now, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Wigan, Bielsa has a dilemma on his hands. Does he start Nketiah, who has his tail up but is still learning the Bielsa way – or stick with Patrick Bamford, who is low in confidence?