Leeds need to make Nketiah call
Leeds United fans voiced their frustrations on Tuesday night as England Under-21 star Eddie Nketiah showcased his skills with a hat-trick.
The 20-year-old helped England maintain their 100 per cent winning record in Euro 2021 qualifying as they beat Austria 5-1. Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi scored two superb goals but the night belonged to Nketiah who took home the match ball despite missing a penalty.
While Arsenal fans purred at what could be on the horizon for them, Leeds supporters took to social media to hit out at Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to keep him on the bench this season.
So with the Championship set to get back under way on Friday night, should Nketiah be given a chance from the off?
If you ask the striker himself, the answer would be yes. He has now scored four goals in nine games across all competitions, two of those coming from the bench in the Championship.
The Lewisham-born forward says he is growing frustrated at Elland Road as he tries to dislodge Patrick Bamford.
He told Sky Sports News: “I am really just trying to do as much as I can. Obviously, I will never be happy with being on the bench. I want to play. I pride myself on being in the team. I think I am good enough to be in the team.
“All I can do is put in the performances that I do. When I come on [to] try and contribute, and I think with the chances I have had, I have done really well.”
In his limited game time, Nketiah has got Leeds fans talking with his terrific movement and quick feet but Bamford continues to get the nod.
The former Middlesbrough hitman has struggled to appeal to the majority of Whites fans but his workrate in the last month has appeased some of his biggest critics.
However, hard work will only get Bamford and Leeds so far, and the worrying thing is that his last league goal came in August. While Bamford could have done better on occasions, the service has been mediocre at times, and there is no guarantee that Nketiah would do more with the current resources.
But with Leeds struggling for consistency, now seems like the perfect time to try something new at Elland Road. Bielsa’s methods have worked wonders during his time in Yorkshire but Leeds have won just one of their last four games in the league.
Bielsa seems reluctant to play with two strikers, and the evidence suggests Bamford would link up well with Nketiah. Both players bring different skills to the starting XI, but Leeds need to strike while the iron is hot as Nketiah seems destined for the top if he continues to develop at his current rate.