Leeds United MD addresses possibility of Arsenal and Brighton recalls for loan stars Eddie Nketiah and Ben White
The early success of Ben White and Eddie Nketiah’s loan spells at Elland Road give Leeds United confidence that neither player will be recalled by their parent clubs in January.
Managing director Angus Kinnear believes time with the Whites is exactly what players like Arsenal striker Nketiah need if they are to go on and further their careers at the highest level.
Speaking on the Talking Shutt podcast, Kinnear said Premier League clubs no longer think simply in terms of cash they can generate by sending promising players out on loan.
“Whereas before it might just be financial, now they’re looking at the development curve,” he said.
“How much playing time are they going to get? What kind of environment are they going to be in?
“Eddie playing in front of 35,000 people who are hugely demanding is exactly the kind of experience he needs for when he’s going back to Arsenal and plays at the Emirates.”
READ: Marcelo Bielsa explains his thinking on his attacking optionsBoth Nketiah and White have quickly endeared themselves to the Leeds United fanbase.
Four goals in six games for Nketiah have given him somewhat of a cult-hero status.
And the way in which Brighton ball-playing centre-half White has taken to Championship football like a duck to water, contributing heavily to both Leeds’ passing game and their defensive solidity, has won him plaudits and a PFA award that Leeds fans helped him win with online votes.
Their early season displays have also raised concerns among Whites supporters that they will be forced to wave goodbye to the youngsters in January.
Kinnear has played down the chances of Leeds losing their loanees.
He says their impressive starts to the season and how integral they are to Marcelo Bielsa’s first team plans stands in the Whites’ favour and not against them.
He did not, however, completely rule out the possibility of a recall, suggesting it was contractually available to Arsenal and Brighton.
“It’s fairly standard in these contracts to have January recalls but the decision is based on how well the loan is going,” he said.
“If the player is playing and they’re playing well and they’re enjoying their football and they’re developing, which we can evidence in both Ben and Eddie’s case, you can be fairly confident it won’t be activated by the parent club.”
The MD also revealed that Leeds are currently in talks over extending more first team contracts.
International defenders and best friends Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas recently inked new deals until 2024 and 2023 respectively.
Midfield general Kalvin Phillips then followed suit, agreeing a five-year deal with his hometown club, telling the world that he never intended to leave and putting a halt, if only temporarily, to speculation over his future.
Polish star Mateusz Klich, so creatively instrumental in the sheer number of attacks Leeds have generated so far this season, is another who recently revealed to the media in his native country that he is currently negotiating a new deal.
And reports suggest veteran Pablo Hernandez, who will turn 35 before the season is through, could also extend his stay.
The YEP understands they are not the only players talking terms with Leeds.
Kinnear insists players’ minds are already made up about where they want to play their football, so it is now simply a case of making the numbers work for both parties.
“I don’t think the supporters’ perspective will be any different from ours, there are players who are contributing consistently at a high level we feel should be a part of Leeds United’s future, whether that’s in the Championship or the Premier League,” said Kinnear.
“It’s all very amicable, it’s not panicked.
“Liam and Stuart are leaders, they are gentlemen, they are the heartbeat of the dressing room and they’re desperate to go up.
“They basically said to their agent, we both want to stay go and sort it out, gave them a mandate to get it done.
“That’s what we want to hear.
“They don’t want to play for another club.
“Those are the discussions we are having with other players.
“It’s not about whether or not they want to stay, it’s just making the terms right.”