Arsenal boss Unai Emery reveals reluctance over Eddie Nketiah's Leeds United loan switch

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery with Eddie Nketiah. (Getty)
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery with Eddie Nketiah. (Getty)
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Unai Emery has revealed that he was initially reluctant to let Eddie Nketiah head out on loan this season because he was in the Spaniard's first team plans at Arsenal.

The Whites fought off strong competition for the forward this summer with over 25 clubs showing interest in taking the Gunners academy product on a temporary basis.

Following the departure of Kemar Roofe in the final week of the transfer window, United's sporting director Victor Orta made a late move for Nketiah in a bid to bring him to West Yorkshire this term.

The 20-year-old was heavily involved under Emery in pre-season, but the North London outfit opted to utilise the loan system to help develop his abilities away from the Premier League.

Leeds are now hoping to benefit from his services this season after winning the race for his signature ahead of the likes of Championship rivals Bristol City and German side Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Emery, though, admitted that he was initially against the idea of letting him leave the Emirates but decided it would be beneficial for his player in the long-term.

"My first decision was not to let him leave," Emery told Football London.

"But after he spoke with me and [considering] the possibility of how many matches he is going to play with us, I said to him I could give him a lot of minutes this year but maybe he can improve more playing regularly 90 minutes each Sunday with Leeds.

"Our objective with him is: 'play and come back here, we want to be with you in the future.'

"It's the same with other young players.

"It's different with players who have been here for a lot of years, Carl Jenkinson is leaving, Laurent Koscielny is leaving and Alex Iwobi is leaving. We have big respect for them. I wish the best for them and good luck."