Jermaine Beckford reacts to Eddie Nketiah's display in Leeds draw
Jermaine Beckford told Sky Sports’ post-match coverage of Leeds United’s draw with Sheffield Wednesday (broadcast on 26/10; 14:45) that he was very impressed with Eddie Nketiah’s performance at Hillsborough, and admitted that the Arsenal loanee surprised him.
Despite scoring a late equaliser in midweek, Nketiah was once again on the bench on Saturday. But with the game still goalless at the break, Marcelo Bielsa brought the striker on for the second-half.
Leeds could not find a winning goal. But Nketiah certainly made an impact. He created the Whites’ best chance of the half as he produced a brilliant change of pace to get into the box and set Jack Harrison up. Harrison’s effort from 12 yards was blocked on the line.
The 20-year-old also produced some excellent pieces of skill, and he held his own against the Wednesday centre-backs. And Beckford praised the striker’s performance, and shared what he did not expect to see from the forward.
“I thought he did very well,” he told Sky Sports. “Again, he impressed. His movement was very good. His strength was very, very good.
“It was surprising if I’m honest with you. I didn’t think he was as strong as he is. He held off a lot of the defenders. He dropped the shoulder, he got about the pitch, he made good passes, and he was very good.”
Nketiah certainly appears to have staked another claim for that first league start. Bamford had some bright moments in the first-half. But the Arsenal man proved a real point with his performance.
Bamford appears to have boosted his chances of holding onto his spot with his hold-up play. But Nketiah showed that he can also battle with centre-backs to keep possession. So it will be interesting to see whether Bielsa deems that he has now done enough to force a change.
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