It’s always interesting to see what happens when notable Arsenal stars are sent out on loan – mainly because, more often than not, they’re eventually going to be returning. They don’t always find the success that they were looking for, but for Arsenal themselves, they can accumulate a pretty good idea of what the player in question is capable of.
Go on, Eddie
Towards the end of the summer transfer window it was starting to look like Eddie Nketiah would be leaving the club, and that’s exactly what happened. The 20 year old, who had a strong pre-season with Arsenal, signed on the dotted line with Championship title contenders Leeds United. He’ll be at Elland Road on loan, before eventually making his way back to the Emirates (unless Leeds attempt to sign him on a permanent deal).
Last night, he took part in his debut match for the club in a Carabao Cup encounter against Salford City. The former non-league side, led by a string of former Manchester United stars, were being tipped to do some big things in this game – especially at home. They looked bright early on in the first half, but as time went on, Leeds began to dominate the play. Eventually, two minutes before the break, Helder Costa put the ball on a plate for Eddie Nketiah who was able to give the visitors the lead. They went on to win 3-0, in a result that was never really in doubt.
In addition to Helder Costa’s assist being a great sign, it was wonderful to see that Nketiah has the kind of confidence necessary to score goals at this level. Leeds are expected to do big things in the race to reach the Premier League, and Eddie could play an absolutely massive role in that. He’s quick, he has great instincts, and he finally seems to be maturing into the kind of player that we all knew he could be.
We’re confident in saying he’ll do a great job with Leeds, and in equal measure, we’re also confident in saying that he will return to Arsenal next season regardless of whether or not the Yorkshire side gain promotion. He clearly wants to make an impact in the starting XI at the Emirates, and while there are a few strong contenders ahead of him, he’s exactly the kind of back-up option you need at this level.
Do you think Eddie will thrive with Leeds United?