Football News

Bielsa vows to take the blame if Arsenal striker Nketiah does not succeed at Leeds

By CJ Smith

Published: 18:08, 20 October 2019

Marcelo Bielsa says it will be his fault if Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah’s loan spell at Leeds United is unsuccessful.

The 20-year-old has already scored four goals in all competitions for the West Yorkshire side this term but is yet to start a single Championship game, having come off the bench on eight occasions.

Nketiah’s loan spell so far: Five things to know…

  • Nketiah joined Leeds United on a season-long loan from Arsenal in the summer.
  • He has already scored four goals across all competitions.
  • But he is yet to start a Championship game and finds himself behind Patrick Bamford in the pecking order.
  • Bielsa insists he will take responsibility if the loan spell isn’t a success.
  • Nketiah has scored 27 goals in 29 caps for England at youth level.

Nketiah currently finds himself behind Patrick Bamford in the pecking order, although the former Chelsea man himself only has four goals to his name in 12 Championship stars.

But Bielsa insists it’s important that Nketiah has a good spell at Elland Road and that he will shoulder any blame if the youngster does not fulfil his potential under his guidance.

“Nketiah is a player that, at the moment, is not in the starting XI,” he said.

“But we are not being so efficient. It is natural that one striker, a goalscorer like him is claimed by the people. He scored four goals, maybe he could score five.

“Obviously, people start to talk about if it’s Bamford or Eddie. But football changes every day. In the last match before Millwall, the public, the supporters recognised Bamford a lot.

“For me, it is very important that Eddie has a good spell at Leeds.

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“If Nketiah doesn’t do well here in Leeds, the responsibility is going to be mine. That will be fair because Nketiah is a player full of results and as a coach, I have to know how to manage all this skill to improve the team.”

Leeds have made a fine start to the 2019/20 season and occupy second place in the table after 12 games following their 1-0 win over Birmingham City on Saturday.

Bielsa’s men face Preston North End on Tuesday night and will be keen to close the gap on current pacesetters West Brom, who host Barnsley.