This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
This may not be as complicated as it seems.
I’m sure that you have read the stories in recent days about Arsenal considering recalling Eddie Nketiah.
According to a report from Football London, Nketiah’s parent club are set to review the situation during next month’s international break. Nketiah has yet to start a league game this season, and Arsenal are reportedly not too happy with that and are considering recalling him in January.
So if Leeds United are presented with that scenario, should they consider buying someone to make up the shortfall, or should they go back into the loan market?
Well, the decision could be made a lot easier depending on whether or not another one of their players gets recalled as well. With reports also surrounding the future of Jack Clarke at Elland Road, it might be beneficial for Leeds if they allow Clarke to return to Spurs rather than keep him in the U23 team.
That would bring the total number of Leeds players on loan down to four, which would put them one short of the maximum amount of loan players you can have in a matchday squad. As a result, they wouldn’t be in the situation they’ve been finding themselves in lately, of having to leave one of them out of the squad every week.
So if it does play out that way, they may not have to buy someone to replace Nketiah – they could go back into the loan market. Given Leeds’ financial situation and ‘cautious approach’ when it comes to the transfer market, that could play right into the Yorkshire outfit’s hands.
Whilst there have already been calls for Leeds to swoop for Dwight Gayle from Noel Whelan, Newcastle United were adamant in the summer that they were not willing to let him go out on loan and a deal ultimately failed to materialise. That once again suggests loans are the priority for the club, so another temporary swoop would make the most sense.
This could all be unnecessary if Arsenal decide to give Leeds a second chance and let them keep the 20-year-old. But if push comes to shove, the Whites won’t be in a situation where they have to gamble the future away with one big signing in January.
That’s provided, of course, Leeds ship Clarke back to his parent club as well, otherwise Marcelo Bielsa will need a permanent purchase to avoid the same loan-based selection problems for every game this season.
But Leeds might just be able to be that little bit more frugal just a little bit longer.