As quoted by Football.London, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has revealed his plans for Eddie Nketiah.
The starlet joined Championship side Leeds at the start of the season on a season-long loan, but following his limited game-time (he played just 495 minutes of league football), the Gunners decided to recall him at the beginning of this January transfer window.
Reports have claimed the north London side’s academy graduate is set for another loan spell away, but with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang getting sent off against Crystal Palace, it perhaps may have raised some questions over whether Nketiah could stay at the Emirates for the time being.
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However, Arteta has moved to dispel that theory, and his verdict on what is best for the 20-year-old’s future makes for encouraging reading.
He said: “I didn’t before (think of using Nketiah) and at the moment we have to think mid-long term with Eddie. We have to respect his evolution and development, we don’t have to make a decision just based on two or three games.”
It would have been so easy for Arteta to deliver a knee-jerk reaction to Aubameyang’s suspension and keep Nketiah for now. But in insisting that the starlet’s long-term future is far more important than just the three games their star forward is likely to miss, the Spaniard has sent a message out to his young players that he has their best interests at heart.
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That kind of mentality and approach will no doubt serve Arteta well, with Nketiah certain the former Manchester City coach is looking out for him. The Gunners’ proactive nature in cutting his loan spell at Leeds short, and once again trying to take their time in finding the best club for him is a great sign for the future.