David Prutton: Eddie Nketiah’s loan move from Arsenal to Leeds United is Wright for all concerned

IAN WRIGHT was waxing lyrical about Leeds United’s new loan signing Eddie Nketiah when he burst onto the scene.

By David Prutton
Friday, 9th August 2019, 6:11 pm
GUNNING FOR THE BIG TIME: Leeds United's new loan star Eddie Nketiah in action for Arsenal during the Emirates Cup clash against Olympique Lyonnais at Emirates Stadium last month. Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images.
GUNNING FOR THE BIG TIME: Leeds United's new loan star Eddie Nketiah in action for Arsenal during the Emirates Cup clash against Olympique Lyonnais at Emirates Stadium last month. Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images.

I was also speaking to Tim Sherwood on Thursday night and he was speaking very highly about Nketiah too.

So far we have seen glimpses of what he can do and now he is coming to Leeds to be well schooled by a good coach in Marcelo Bielsa and then develop with Leeds at a very important time in his career.

It all means that the timing of the move is great.

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Nketiah has obviously made all of the right noises about coming to play at United and the size of the club and the manager and you have got to make sure that you make a good impression.

But the best impression is to play today against Nottingham Forest, maybe score a goal and just be as dedicated and determined and hard working as possible.

Like we have always seen, the best impression you can give is to come across as humble and hard-working and, fingers crossed, that’s what he is.

Marcelo might not want to put the pressure on Nketiah to score the goals that Kemar Roofe scored but any passing football fan that would know about the situation with Leeds and with Roofe going, would know that is what Nketiah has come for. You can’t get away from that.

I’m not saying it is exactly like for like but an attack-minded player that you want to score goals – that’s Kemar Roofe so you have another player there now who does that too.

I think Nketiah adds to what could potentially be a very exciting, attack-minded side but maybe just gives it a different string to its bow.

And maybe that element of where Nketiah has come from and who he has played in front of – albeit a handful of times – stands him in good stead for the expectation level of two games a week in front of big crowds when you are at home, a big travelling support and a club looking to put the disappointment of last season behind them.

Nketiah is a centre forward who has obviously come to Leeds to play games but the challenge to Patrick Bamford is to do what he did on Sunday against Bristol City – score a goal.

You have got to break down any player’s all round game and contribution but the question mark and finger pointed at Patrick last year was that he didn’t score enough goals with the chances that he got.

But it was a well-taken goal on Sunday in the first game of the season.

It was a great team performance from Leeds and a great performance from a centre forward looking to silence his critics so Patrick has just got to keep doing that and he can’t do too much wrong.

Nketiah brings some very tough competition at the very top end of the pitch and maybe it will spur Patrick on and maybe it will spur Nketiah on to get into the side and across the board lift the level.

Playing with two strikers was not something that Marcelo entertained rarely, if at all last season but maybe these two together have the potential to work together when plan A and plan B doesn’t go how Marcelo wants it to.

It gives the head coach another option but Marcelo is so methodical and the belief in his principals is so strong that you would think that staying with one up front is how he wants to play and how he is going to play.

Leeds were good value for their win at Bristol City.

The goal that Bristol City got back made the scoreline look respectable but it could have been more from Leeds’ point of view and it will have certainly given Bristol City boss Lee Johnson food for thought.

He loves a tactical battle but what we saw from Leeds was an innate desire and hunger to hit the ground running.

I watched the game and then read a match report and there was a great word that was used to describe Leeds which was ‘suffocating’ in the way they went about the opposition – starving them of the ball and when they haven’t got the ball trying to get it back as quickly as possible.

That was a great description of what they need to be like to be tough to beat and to be able to fight through games when required.