This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Phil Hay has confirmed that loanee Eddie Nketiah was due a run of starts at Leeds before injuries took hold and delayed his progress with the Championship outfit.
Hay was asked about Nketiah’s place in the squad during his Q&A session with The Athletic.
“We’re going back to where we started – if the team are playing well and results are good, the temptation to drop Bamford isn’t going to be strong for Bielsa. From what we hear, Nketiah would have been given four games on the bounce if he hadn’t been injured. He was set for a run of starts. But once he’s back he’ll have to polish his match fitness and in the meantime, Bamford has the chance to nail his place down a little more firmly.”
Leeds’ striker position has been a point of discussion throughout this season, and it seems as if those debates aren’t going away.
The Whites have a bit of a dilemma up front, Patrick Bamford has been out of form as he’s netted just five goals this term, while Eddie Nketiah has been scoring at an impressive rate netting three league goals in just 265 minutes.
Despite this, Nketiah hasn’t started a single game for Leeds, and just when it looked like he was going to get a spot in the first XI he picked up an injury.
Indeed, Bamford had a knock on his ankle before Leeds’ game with QPR, but an abdominal strain picked up by the Arsenal loanee meant that the 25-year-old’s run of starts continued.
Leeds fans have been calling for Nketiah to start for ages, and just as he was about to get a run of games he was sidelined.
The Argentine has always been rather reluctant to rush his players back into the first-team as he usually plays them on the bench or in the U23s until they’re 100% ready to get back to business.
This may take a while for Nketiah and with Leeds having an easy run of fixtures coming up this couldn’t have come at a worse time for the striker.