Saturday, August 20, 2022

Phil Hay Reports Bristol City Continuing To Monitor This Leeds United Ace: What Should Bielsa Do?

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

According to the reports from Phil Hay writing for the Athletic (subscription needed), Bristol City are continuing to monitor Eddie Nketiah for a possible move in the January transfer window. The Robins were considered as the front runner to sign the England youth international in the summer, but Leeds United came in for him late and secured his signature.

However, Lee Johnson hasn’t given up yet as Nketiah has not received regular game time in the first team at Elland Road. The striker has often been used as an impact substitute, and Bielsa has continued to prefer Patrick Bamford over him. However, Nketiah hasn’t harmed his chances with his cameo appearances as he has been able to rescue the Whites on numerous occasions; most recently in the midweek tie against Preston North End.

Why might Arsenal call him back?

We think that the English forward isn’t too far off from first-team football and he will soon get his chances as Bamford has been below par. However, the decision could be out of United’s hands as Arsenal does have an option to recall the striker in January.

Nketiah is yet to make a start in the Championship, and if Bristol City can guarantee regular starts to the Gunners, then Arsenal might have a case for recalling him back. That would be disastrous for the Whites as they don’t have too many options upfront and Bamford has lacked the killer instinct so far.

What should Bielsa do?

Bielsa is known to give his players a long rope, and as long as Bamford gives his all and creates chances for his team, the manager might continue with him upfront. This stubborn nature might cost the Whites now as Bristol City are still looking to get Nketiah.

It will also depend on how Nketiah is feeling about his lack of starts. The striker indicated that he is obviously unhappy not to start, but he didn’t overtly press the issue of leaving Elland Road.

We think that its time for Bielsa to start Nketiah as Bamford has looked short on confidence in front of goal. The former Middlesbrough striker indeed does a lot of things right in terms of build-up play, but a striker’s primary job is to score goals. The next two months could be crucial for Nketiah in terms of deciding whether he wants to make a switch in January or not. With Bamford misfiring, the Arsenal youngster should get his chances soon.

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