Eddie Nketiah could prove to be a fantastic signing for Leeds United
One of the most exciting deals on deadline day saw Leeds United complete the signing of highly-rated Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah on a season-long loan.
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa lost his last season’s top scorer, Kemar Roofe, to Anderlecht during the transfer window. Roofe helped the Whites stay in the top-two for the majority of last season but his injury in February started his team’s downfall and eventually, they failed to achieve promotion.
As the 26-year-old had entered the final year of his contract, Leeds had no option but to cash in on the versatile forward when Anderlecht came calling. That left a huge void in the Whites’ squad and one that Bielsa attempted to fill by signing Eddie Nketiah from Arsenal.
Nketiah, 20, has already impressed the fans at Elland Road. He made his debut in midweek and scored against Salford City in the League Cup.
The young striker has been kept out by Patrick Bamford in the Championship games as Bielsa prefers the ex-Chelsea man to lead his team’s attack. And Bamford has repaid his manager’s faith with three goals in the opening three matches.
But the 24-year-old still lacks positional awareness and killer instinct in front of goal, something which Nketiah displayed against Brentford in the Championship on Wednesday.
Leeds dominated the major parts of the game against Brentford but were lacking the finishing touch.
They had the worst chances-to-goals conversion in the Championship last season and Bielsa was frustrated for all the right reasons, especially with a couple of misses from Bamford.
However, the Leeds tactician kept Bamford on the pitch and instead took off Pablo Hernandez for Nketiah in the 77th minute.
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And inside just five minutes, the 20-year-old delivered what he was asked to. Nketiah and fellow substitute Helder Costa combined in the 82nd minute, with the former scoring a late winner to make it two goals in two games. The finish was a simple tap-in but the 20-year-old showed his presence of mind to get in the right position.
Nketiah is a clinical finisher and has proven himself at youth level for Arsenal. Even though he hasn’t played much, it feels as if Bielsa has got a gem of a talent in his hands for the season, as the young striker’s late winner against Brentford helped Leeds leapfrog Sheffield Wednesday and return to the summit.