Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, John Hartson has urged Eddie Nketiah to be patient at Leeds amidst rumours that Bristol City are interested in taking him to Ashton Gate.
The 20-year-old joined the Whites on loan this summer, and so far has four goals in his first nine matches in all competitions. However, he is yet to start a game for the side in the Championship, with his two inclusions in the starting XI both coming in the League Cup instead.
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Former Wales international Hartson has been commenting on Nketiah’s situation at Elland Road and his lack of playing time, and has suggested that the Arsenal man should stay patient for now with the Yorkshire outfit.
“For me, he has just got to keep patient, he’s just got to keep trying to score goals,” he said. “I’m sure Leeds will want to keep him obviously, but I think sometimes as a young player you just want to keep playing.
“Would it be a good idea (to go to Bristol City)? I don’t know. Leeds are challenging, they got to the play-offs last season, they lost to Derby. He’s with a really experienced manager there. He’s got a good group of players, just be patient for now, keep banging the goals in, and I’m sure they’ll be some more clubs than Bristol City that will come in for him in January.”
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The form he has showed so far this campaign means he is getting harder and harder to ignore. At 20 years old, he has plenty of time ahead of him, but it is understandable that he is chomping at the bit to get on to the field as much as possible. After all, the whole point of this loan spell is to see more senior action in a bid to accelerate his development.
On the other hand, though, this could be fantastic for his strength of character. So far in his career, he has been a big fish in a small pond for Arsenal’s U23s, but now he is playing men’s football and is finding out that it isn’t as easy.
This will happen at times in his career, and it is better that he finds it out now rather than later on. Under Bielsa, he will progress as a footballer and, if he continues to hit the back of the net, he will give the Argentinian no choice but to play him. Should he be able to break into the team of a promotion challenger, that would surely send a stronger message to Unai Emery rather than taking the easy option somewhere else.