This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
The international break may be the most annoying thing in the world to some football fans, but for EFL clubs it represents a real chance to regroup and iron out some of the ongoing issues in the squad.
This layoff opens up an interesting chance for Leeds United – an opportunity that they’ve not had in any of the prior breaks.
Marcelo Bielsa has previously complained about Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah’s commitments to the England U21 team getting in the way of his ability to try things with the striker.
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With Nketiah out injured, he hasn’t been called up to U21 duty, and while his ongoing problem means that he can’t train properly with Leeds it doesn’t mean that he can’t spend time learning from the coaches and his teammates.
The 20-year-old won’t be fit enough to undertake a proper training routine with his teammates, but there’s so much more to being a footballer than just doing work on the pitch.
Indeed, there is no reason why Nketiah can’t spend time learning how to play in Bielsa’s system more effectively, as this is the first extended period the Argentine has had with the youngster without having to worry about preparing for the next match.
Nketiah arrived on deadline day, and since then it’s been non-stop in terms of match-preparation with the striker then heading off to international duty. However, studying footage of matches and how he’s played in the past could prove extremely beneficial.
Equally, this next week where Leeds don’t have to do intense training ahead of their next match is an opportunity for Bielsa and his staff to run Nketiah through what is required from a striker in his system by communicating with him and observing what other attackers who are taking part in the training sessions are doing.
Extra guidance could just prove key once he returns and it may just have a decisive say on whether Bielsa can trust him to start.