Eddie Nketiah on dealing with pressure at Leeds United and his relationship with Arsenal legend Ian Wright
Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah reveals how he deals with the pressures of playing professional football
Eddie Nketiah says his career experiences have already helped prepared him for dealing with the pressure of playing for Leeds United.
The Arsenal loanee joined the Whites on a season-long loan in the summer in a bid to gain more first team experience away from North London.
Nketiah is yet to make a Championship start under Marcelo Bielsa having picked up an injury on the eve of what was due to be his first against Queens Park Rangers last month.
The 20-year-old has still made 13 substitute appearances in league action, scoring five goals in all competitions in the process.
The Gunners academy product, though, has opened up on dealing with the pressure of playing professional football with Arsenal and Leeds.
"It helps that I’ve come from such a big club like Arsenal," Nketiah told Gaffer magazine. "I've been lucky to have the experiences and the games that I’ve had there already.
"So, when it comes to big games I feel like I’m already a little bit used to it.
"I try and take all the distractions away. To forget about the significance of a certain game or the pressure and just concentrate on what impact I can make.
"It’s good for me, at a development stage, to try and play week-in-week-out and to really test myself day-in, day-out to get to a level where you are winning things. To actually back myself.
"It’s what you play for. It’s great to win games, of course, but you want to fight for important things and win trophies. Leeds have a great chance of doing that, which is why I chose to come here."
Nketiah has struck up a strong relationship with Arsenal legend Ian Wright off the field, who has become somewhat of a mentor to the striker.
"Wrighty is a top guy, you know," Nketiah continued.
"We did a few shoots together, I think the first one was for a Crash Bandicoot launch and we both just grew fond of each other.
"I’ve always been a fan of Ian, he was a great player but, most importantly, he’s a great guy.
"Growing up in similar areas, we can relate to each other. He was always open with me, giving me certain little tips and help. We’ve naturally grown closer from there. He shows good support.
"He even comes up to some of the games. It’s a great feeling knowing you have the backing and support from someone so influential like him.
"Mainly he gives feedback on the game he watches. He gives great tips and pointers about life as a striker, it’s more an arm around the shoulder. We talk about life as well, he’s very open.
"It’s just good to have that support from such a big striker in the game, especially one who is so humble and modest."