Written by: Kyle Archer
Leeds United are plotting a January deal to replace Eddie Nketiah, as the club expect Arsenal to recall the on-loan striker, according to Football Insider.
Nketiah moved to Elland Road on Deadline Day after our Director of Football Victor Orta met with the Gunners to make a personal plea to chiefs in North London, where head coach Unai Emery had been reluctant to allow the England U21 star to leave.
As part of the deal agreed as the window was about to shut, Arsenal insisted on a recall clause that will become active in January depending on how many minutes the 20-year-old has played under Marcelo Bielsa.
But as the boss has so rarely played Nketiah, the club are now preparing for his potential departure at the earliest opportunity.
Nketiah is yet to start a game in the Championship, where he has made each of his ten outings and scored three times from the bench, along with two opening calls in the Carabao Cup against Salford City and Stoke, scoring once against both sides.
The 8-cap U21 international has not featured at all since we drew 0-0 with Sheffield Wednesday last month, though, as Nketiah is currently sidelined after suffering from an abdominal problem prior to our clash with Queens Park Rangers on November 2.
Losing Nketiah’s services would deprive Bielsa of one of his two senior strikers, though the club are keen to avoid the boss facing such an issue, and are actively looking at forwards that come arrive in the winter market.
Nketiah has frequently been a stellar impact sub for us in the few minutes he has played in the Championship, with no Leeds player recording a greater conversion rate than the Arsenal product prior to Tuesday night’s trip to Reading.
According to statistics collected by Sofa Score over the opening 17 games of the term, Nketiah had converted 25% of his chance having taken 12 shots and scored three times, while Kalvin Phillips ranked second having converted 17% of his six efforts on goal.
Nketiah also created one big chance and played five key passes across his 262 minutes on the field in the second-tier, while Bamford had penned two and 11 respectively in the 1,302 minutes he had played.
Bamford had also missed a total 12 big chances to Nketiah’s three in the league up until the full-time whistle at Luton Town on Saturday, while completing 33% of his dribbles to the Gunners prospects’ 57%.