It appears that Eddie Nketiah could be denied the chance to play in Arsenal’s FA Cup third round tie with Leeds United if he remains on loan with Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The Football Association’s rules state that a loan signing cannot play against his parent club in the competition. That would suggest that Nketiah will be ineligible to play against the Gunners.
That may be a big blow for Nketiah. He may struggle to find a better stage with which he can really prove a point to his parent club.
But perhaps his ineligibility could actually still provide Nketiah with a fantastic opportunity with Leeds set to face West Brom just days before their trip to the Emirates.
Should the Championship table remain the same by the time January arrives, the game at the Hawthorns will pit the division’s top two against each other. A win may not secure either club promotion, but it will see a major psychological blow struck.
Marcelo Bielsa would be forgiven for already thinking about how he is going to manage his squad over the coming weeks. Leeds will have contested eight games in just over a month by the time the Arsenal tie is decided.
He obviously will not look too far into the future. But Nketiah’s apparent ineligibility does perhaps allow him to pencil in Patrick Bamford for a starting spot at the Emirates.
With that in mind, the Leeds boss may feel that that may be a good time to rotate his options as he is already aware that he is set to have no choice for who starts up front for one game in that run.
So while Nketiah may be set to miss out on the chance to play against his parent club, his ineligibility may leave him as the best option to lead the line against West Brom days before.
He may not be available for the game he will be desperate to star in. But that does not mean that Nketiah will not get the chance to answer Leeds’s call and win them a massive game in early January.