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Report: Leeds were hopeful Nketiah would join before Arsenal decision

Leeds were quietly hopeful that Eddie Nketiah would be keen to join them permanently if he rejected a new contract at Arsenal this summer, according to The Athletic.

Leeds have made a promising start to the window. They have already signed Brenden Aaronson. And Rasmus Kristensen looks set to follow the USMNT international from Red Bull Salzburg to Elland Road.

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The pair are not the only players linked with making that move this summer. Reports on Monday claimed that Leeds want young striker Junior Adamu, too.

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But perhaps, had events played out differently, Jesse Marsch would already be on the verge of having his striker signing wrapped up.

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After months of looking to be on the way out of Arsenal, Nketiah has agreed a new long-term contract with the Gunners. He ended the season in fine form, scoring five times in the Premier League.

Two of those goals came in a win over Leeds. And it is probably fair to say that that brace may have been particularly painful for Victor Orta to watch.

As it turns out, The Athletic reports that Leeds were quietly confident that Nketiah would be open to a permanent move to them if he decided to leave Arsenal.

Leeds were hopeful Nketiah would join

Nketiah is someone who may have divided the fanbase. He scored some absolutely vital goals in the promotion-winning season while on loan. But it is also fair to say that the Whites probably did not see the best of Nketiah.

Marcelo Bielsa’s system did not play to Nketiah’s strength. And Leeds seemed to lose something when the Arsenal man finally started ahead of Patrick Bamford.

However, Leeds would have certainly benefitted from having Nketiah this past season. With Bamford sidelined for long spells with injury, the Whites really struggled up front. Neither Daniel James or Rodrigo had the best year.

Nketiah ended the season in ‘magnificent‘ form. So it would have been a coup for Leeds to sign the Arsenal man.

The worry now will be that the last time Nketiah forced Orta into a change of plans, Leeds ended up signing Jean-Kevin Augustin.

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