Marcelo Bielsa has suggested, in comments reported by Leeds Live, that Leeds United are already grateful to have Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, while he also explained the potential problem with playing him and Patrick Bamford together.
Nketiah has taken little time to become an incredibly popular figure at Elland Road. He has scored four goals in his first six appearances for the Whites. Remarkably, he is still awaiting his first league start.
His popularity reached another level at the weekend as he scored the game’s opening goal in the 84th minute when Leeds travelled to Barnsley. Unsurprisingly, some fans are now incredibly keen to see the 20-year-old start a league game.
And Bielsa explained that he is delighted with the start that the youngster has made since arriving from the Emirates on deadline day.
“It’s one of the team options that we have. He’s an important player and how he can change the impact and development of a match,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live. “We are already grateful that we can have him.”
The problem for Bielsa is that Bamford has also made a very good start to the season. He has scored four goals and has impressed the supporters with his work-rate and improvement from last term.
But while some would suggest that playing them together could be the answer, Bielsa explained that he is wary of upsetting the balance of the team.
“In the case they play together it’s not always that you have attackers in the team you’re going to be more dangerous,” he went on to add as he discussed the prospect of the pair playing together.
“The centre-forward for them is important, the kind of passes they receive. So if they play together they can do it but sometimes we have two centre forwards but we don’t have the player who can assist them.”
While Leeds have not scored before the 80th minute in three of their last four league games, it would be a surprise if Bielsa tinkered with a formula that is currently working.
Nketiah’s first league start will come sooner or later. But he is making a devastating impact when coming off the bench.
And with Leeds top of the table, Bielsa may wonder whether it is worth attempting to fix something that does not appear to be broken right now.