Nketiah: I’ll never be happy on the bench

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After his hat-trick for England U21s against Austria last night (see the goals here), Eddie Nketiah says he’ll never be happy being on the bench as he looks to secure more regular playing time with Leeds United.

The 20 year old striker has had to play second fiddle to Patrick Bamford for most of the season, despite the fact his teammate hasn’t scored since August.

It has led to stories about Arsenal being concerned about the amount of playing time he’s receiving during the loan spell, but overcoming obstacles is part and parcel of the development process and Nketiah is showing Marco Bielsa he’s ready to play with his performances during this international break.

“I am really just trying to do as much as I can,” he told Sky Sports.

“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.

“In the two games I have stared, I have scored. I always try and help the team when I come on.

“I feel like going away with England is always a great opportunity for me to continue to put a case forward and show myself.

“I am grateful to be here and I just want to continue doing more at this level and for Leeds.”

Can’t fault the attitude, and we’ll wait and see if it’s enough to hand him a start when Leeds face Birmingham on Saturday.

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Dave M

Surely he has to start over Bamford. The Bamford-Bielsa love-affair reminds me of the Emery-Xhaka situation.

yura910721

From what I heard, Bamford seems to be giving more to his team in terms of passing and hold up play. So I guess he is a bit of Giroud in France national team, for Bielsa. And I think if that’s true, that’s something that Eddie needs to work on, because he is already better at what makes or breaks strikers, goals. But he needs to improve other aspects of his game, because if he doesn’t he is gonna end up like Poldi: who had an impressive conversion rate, but lack of activity, movement in the box and involvement in… Read more »

Dave M

Yeah I heard that too, problem is that argument doesn’t really hold up given Leeds’ recent run of form. Since Bamford’s last goal the team has gone LWDLWL (7 pts from a possible 18) and have dropped from 1st to 5th in the league. Striker’s primary job is to score goals. Giroud works pretty well for France because he has the likes of Mbappe, Greizmann, Thuvain, Lemar, Fekir, Dembele, Coman running off him. Leeds have a little less to choose from and have scored 5 goals in that 6 game period…

11dc

it would be interesting to see if Bamford and Eddie could compliment each other in the starting 11

yura910721

Yeah it seems like Bielsa might be forced to find the way to play them together as Leeds is unable to find goals.

Martinellis belly

This is true. I wish he would play them together. Could be a very good partnership. They seem to have a lot of wingers though some of whom are also on loan.
I do have a bad feeling in my gut about Leeds being his destination. Its sink or swim time as the pressure is intense there

loose_cannon

He’s a bit different from Podolski in terms of style. Podolski was a classic second striker, who end up playing on the wing after teams moved away from two up top. Eddie is more of a fox in the box poucher. Both would probably work best in a two tbf.

Qutub

Exactly the kind of mentality and attitude required to be world class.

C.B.

And world class staring, see Arseblog above. But if a good stare leads to Leeds goals then so be it.

John C

The great irony with Nketiah is that he could have a great season out on loan with Leeds and England U21’s and come back to find he’s not just behind Aubameyang and Lacazette but then also behind Martinelli

Martinellis belly

Kind of like whats happened with Nelson and Saka.
Things can change in the blink of an eye with young players though. Dont be suprised if Martinelli orSaka go through a rough patch and Nelson is suddenly the name on everyone’s lips again.
These guys all have the talent, it’s just a case of form and confidence

John C

Absolutely and it goes to show that doing the business in somebody else’s first team at an inferior level is no substitute for doing in ours. Opportunities are taken as well as given and the important thing is that Nketiah and Nelson play their natural game and don’t over play when they get theirs whilst trying to respond to the form of say Saka and Martinelli. I no long see young players getting 100+ games under the new regime as they did under Wenger, for instance unless we see dramatic improvements i can see AMN being sold in the summer… Read more »

Cultured determination

Start eddie or we take him back and loan him to a club who will start him in every match, and for him to gain experience in EPL. It’ll also toughen him up to know what survival is, to be fighting week in week out to avoid relegation. We’ll loan him to man u

mjc1892

This is such a bad attitude in my opinion. Teaching a 20 year old that if things dont go his way for a few months to throw his toys out the pram. People demanding this will be the same ones that in 2025 when he hits 30 goals in a season and goes on strike to get a move to Barca will be deriding player power. Also sets a very dangerous precedent going forward that clubs will know unless they do exactly what the great and powerful Arsenal want, we’ll take our players back. He’s scoring, he’s playing well, almost… Read more »

I'mHere

Gnabry

Thierry Walcott

Brilliant!

Martinellis belly

He’s looking brilliant in the U21 training videos too. Some beautiful finishes and makes an absolute fool of Willock at one point (wish it had been someone else)
The competition between our young attackers is going to be so fierce!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52XjBzrFwsM&t=4s