Lifting the lid on Leeds United's new Arsenal recruit Eddie Nketiah

IN BIG DEMAND: Eddie Nketiah.
IN BIG DEMAND: Eddie Nketiah.
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LEEDS UNITED have signed Eddie Nketiah on a season-long loan from Arsenal after striker Kemar Roofe joined Anderlecht.

But who exactly is Nketiah and what has he achieved so far? The YEP's Lee Sobot takes a look.

Progress with Arsenal

Now 20 and not 21 until next May, Nketiah made his Arsenal debut in Belarus aged 18 as an 89th-minute substitute in the 4-2 victory at Bate Borisov in the Europa League in September 2017.

The teenager was then handed his second Gunners outing when coming on as an 85th-minute substitute in the EFL Cup clash against Norwich City at the Emirates the following month and the striker scored with his first touch 15 seconds after coming on. Better still, Nketiah then bagged the winning goal in extra time as Arsenal progressed with a 2-1 victory.

Further outings as a substitute followed in four more Europa League games plus an FA Cup outing at Nottingham Forest followed before Nketiah made his Premier League debut as an 83rd-minute substitute in the 2-1 loss at Brighton in March.

Similarly late appearances from the bench followed in league clashes at Newcastle United and Leicester City.

2018-19 inroads and Premier League goalscorer

Nketiah bagged his first start for Arsenal the following season in a 3-0 win at Ukranian side Vorskla Poltava and then stepped out from the first minute at the Emirates for the first time in the club's next Europa League tie which ended in a 1-0 win at home to FK Qarabag.

An outing from the bench then followed in the 2-0 loss at home to Tottenham in the EFL Cup before Nketiah savoured a first start in the FA Cup in the 3-0 win at Blackpool back in January.

Premier League outings as a second half substitute then followed against Manchester United, Wolveds and Leicester City before another memorable moment in the season finale at Burnley.

On as a 62nd-minute substitute for Joe Willock, the striker netted his first Premier League goal in the 90th minute to wrap up a 3-1 win.

It all means that Nketiah has made 19 appearances for the Gunners, scoring three, with the forward's appearances giving him a Europa League runners-up medal.

Summer hotshot and almost Bundesliga on loan

Nketiah's progress has continued this summer with the forward scoring three goals in two games against Bayern Munich and Fiorentina as part of Arsenal's pre-season tour of the United States.

And Gunners boss Unai Emery now has a decision to make as to whether to keep the highly rated forward in house or send the striker out for a first loan spell.

The striker was set to join Bundesliga outfit Augsburg on loan in January until an injury to Danny Welbeck with Emery opting to keep Nketiah with his side to train and progress.

As many as 25 clubs are said to have now expressed an interest in taking Nketiah on loan with Bristol City and Fortuna Düsseldorf among those towards the front of the queue.



Stacks of England Youth caps

Born in Lewisham, Nketiah has been capped by England at under-18s, 19s, 20s and 21s level with the forward boasting a very good goals to games ratio at every level.

The striker scored a hat-trick in his second game for England's under-18s as part of a 4-0 win against Qatar under-19s, one match after also netting on his England under-19s debut against Saudi Arabia.

Nketiah then blasted in a four-timer for England under-19s in a qualifier for the 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championship against the Faroe Islands in November 2017.

After progress and more goals with England's under-20s, Nketiah was called up to England's under-21s squad for the Toulon Tournament in the summer of 2018.

The young Gunner scored twice in the semi final against Scotland and also set up Kieran Dowell for the winner in the final.

The striker has scored four goals in two games for England's 18s, nine in ten for England's under-19s, six in nine for England's under-20s and two in four for England's under-21s.

Chelsea first

Nketiah has been with Arsenal since 2015 but the forward started his youth career with Chelsea whom he joined in 2008 aged just nine after being scouted playing for London Sunday team Hillyfielders.

The striker was released in 2015 as an under-14s player but then joined the Arsenal Academy with Nketiah netting 24 goals in 28 appearances for the under-18s and then 12 goals in 26 games for the under-23s.

That led to Nketiah being selected by Arsene Wenger for Arsenal's pre-season trip to Australia and China.



Pace and ambition

In a recent interview with Telegraph Sport, Nketiah opened up on his style of play and future ambitions.

"I have always tried to get into goalscoring positions," he said.

“I always want to score goals. I’m a striker, I’m brave, I like to put myself in the places where the chances are going to fall.

"Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but I like to think most of the time they will go in if you get into the right area.

“It’s something I have developed over the years but it comes a bit naturally, being eager to do well and eager to score goals.

“All I can do is be grateful for the opportunity to come to Arsenal. It has been the right step in my career.

“My end goal in my career is to play for Arsenal on a regular basis. I just want to work hard and see how far I can go.”

Nketiah is five-foot nine, quick and versatile with the teen able to play through the middle or as a wide forward, something which would definitely suit Leeds.

Ian Wright and Thierry Henry

Perhaps not surprisingly, Nketiah's idols are Gunners legends Ian Wright and Thierry Henry and the young forward has already worked with both.

Speaking to the Telegraph in July, Nketiah said: "They are probably two of my favourites.

"I was with Ian Wright not too long ago and got some advice and it’s always nice to speak to those guys who have been your idols.

“I worked with Thierry as well (in the academy) and it’s great to get that advice off top strikers. Thierry was great for me, not just on the pitch but off the field as well.”