Arsenal ace Eddie Nketiah excited by pressure of promotion push at Leeds United

NEW recruit Eddie Nketiah is welcoming the pressure attached to Leeds United’s promotion bid with the Arsenal loanee hoping to bring his “own spin” to Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 17:40 pm
BRING IT ON: Eddie Nketiah celebrates scoring his and Arsenal's second goal which sealed a 2-1 win against Norwich City after extra time at the Emirates in the EFL Cup in October 2017. Now the 20-year-old striker is relishing the pressure of a promotion quest with Leeds United. Picture BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images.

England under-21s striker Nketiah joined Leeds on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day with around 25 clubs having been interested in securing the highly-rated forward’s services.

Nketiah, though, opted for a first loan spell away from Arsenal at Elland Road with the 20-year-old keen to test his mettle at a club made favourites to earn promotion to the Premier League by winning the Championship this term.

The forward has made quick progress at Arsenal since joining the club in 2015 following his release by Chelsea with the striker having already made 19 appearances for the Gunners, scoring twice in the EFL Cup and also once in the Premier League.

Attention now turns to helping the Whites to the country’s top flight ahead of Saturday’s Championship hosting of Nottingham Forest (kick-off 12.30pm) and Nketiah is relishing the task ahead.

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“It’s a different chaange,” Nketiah told LUTV.

“I’ve been at Arsenal for a while now in and around the first team, on the fringes and played a bit so I feel like it was important this season for me to go somewhere where I feel like I can get consistent game time and take the next step in my development. I feel like I can do that here.

“Also, there is a big pressure here to try and get promotion and I feel like it will be good for me to learn how to play under that and deal with that.

“I am just really excited to hopefully help the club reach its goals and hopefully improve as a player and develop.”

Leeds turned their attentions to Nketiah after last season’s top scorer Kemar Roofe sealed a switch to Belgian club Anderlecht on Tuesday for a fee believed to be around £7m.

From a host of clubs looking to sign Nektiah on loan, fellow Championship outfit Bristol City and Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf were at the front of the queue until United entered the race with head coach Bielsa praising the work of director of football Victor Orta in bringing the Arsenal striker to Elland Road.

As well as the attraction of Bielsa and size and stature of Leeds as a club, Nketiah says he was also lured by Bielsa's style of football.

"I have seen a lot of Leeds," said the young Gunner.

"That was one of the things that was presented towards me and I feel like the style of play was also a big part of me coming here over other clubs.

"I feel like the project they want to work on, the places they want to go, they are going about it the right way with the right style of play and play that I like and feel like I will suit.

"I feel like the methods of the manager are great, it's something I am excited to be a part of and learn under and add my own bit of spin on it and help take the club forward a bit."

Assessing what he hoped he would bring to the Whites, Nketiah added: "I am an attacking player, I like to play as striker down the middle and I pride myself on trying to get into goalscoring opportunities and also create for my team mates.

"I am an exciting player that likes to take people on and make runs in behind but also I think the basics are working hard and that's what I can bring to to the team.

"It's for the manager to see how he feels best I can show my qualities in the team but that's what I will be trying to bring to the club."