Marcelo Bielsa says injured Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah's enjoyment at Leeds United will be key if he's to stay
Eddie Nketiah’s enjoyment of life at Leeds United will be key to whether or not the Arsenal loanee stays at Elland Road beyond January.
Marcelo Bielsa has suggested that the young striker will have a big say in whatever happens in the transfer window.
Nketiah is current sidelined with a lower abdominal injury, one that cruelly occurred just 24 hours before he was due to make his first ever Championship start for the Whites.
Bielsa has remained tight lipped on the exact nature of the problem, other than to say that the 20-year-old is in pain and not training.
The head coach expects to issue an update in the next week on the length of time the forward will be out.
“It’s the same I said before, his injury is in his abdomen,” said Bielsa.
“Week to week we evaluate the time of recovery. Now [it has been] one week and they told us one more week to see how he progresses. In the next seven days I will inform you if he is able or must continue to recover.”
When asked if the timing of the injury raised concerns for Leeds, given the possibility that Nketiah may not play enough games to satisfy Arsenal that a second half of the season at Elland Road would be beneficial, Bielsa said they hold the England Under 21 star in even higher regard than they did before signing him, but laid the status of the loan spell at the feet of the player.
“I think that if he feels comfortable with us this is going to be the key for him to stay or not.
“It is for him to say, not for me. We have the same position as when he arrived at Leeds.
“After living and sharing with him, our opinion about him is better than the initial position we had before he arrived here and that was very good.”
Gjanni Alioski [side], Adam Forshaw [hip] and Jamie Shackleton [quad] will also miss this weekend’s game at home to Blackburn Rovers but Barry Douglas is fit and available again.