Eddie Nketiah spent the first half of the 2019/20 season on loan at Leeds United, but Arsenal were obviously unhappy with the way things were going with the young forward over there, as Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa admitted himself. He made a total of 17 Championship appearances but only two of those were from the start, coupled with another two starts in the Carabao Cup where he scored on both occasions. In total, he bagged five goals in four starts, but Bielsa obviously wasn’t going to give him what a player at his age needs to develop – regular game-time, which was supposed to be the whole point of the loan.
The recently appointed Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had intended to send him out on another temporary adventure in the Championship for the second part of the season. He even claimed that the three-match suspension Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang earned by getting sent off directly against Crystal Palace wouldn’t affect the decision about Nketiah, but as reported by both BBC and Sky Sports, the Spaniard had a long talk with with the 20-year-old forward and has now changed his mind.
Nketiah will stay at the Emirates and work with the first team, and he might get an opportunity in one (or more) of the games which Aubameyang will miss – against Sheffield United and Chelsea in the Premier League, as well as the FA Cup clash with Bournemouth. Arteta, of course, has 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli at his disposal as well, and the Brazilian will also be hoping for a more prominent role in the next three games.
Filling the shoes of Arsenal’s arguably best player at the moment will be no easy task for either of the two youngsters, but it’ll certainly be a bit more within their reach to compete against each other for the potentially vacant spot than to hope for starts when the captain is back in contention.