Eddie Nketiah has expressed his displeasure at the lack of playing time at Leeds United. The Arsenal forward joined the club on loan during the summer window and has delivered when called upon.
Nketiah, who scored a hat-trick for England Under-21s in a 5-1 win over Austria on Tuesday, has not started a Championship game. The Arsenal starlet has found himself behind Patrick Bamford in the Leeds pecking order in a system that doesn’t need more than one striker at a time.
“It’s been disappointing for me not to start in the league, I went there to play games and get games,” Nketiah said. “It’s still early times. I think every time I’ve come on a done well and shown why I think I should be playing, I think tonight was a good statement and a good way for me to put across a performance and hopefully I’ll be starting in the next run of games.
“I’m always learning and when I come away here or back at Leeds, it’s a new environment, I feel like I am learning a lot. I think I’ll learn even more by playing, times like this is good for me to come way and get game time here.
“I’m looking to push on, I went there to play and I think I believe I’m good enough to be playing in the team. I want to kick on when I get back and hopefully get a run of games.
“I’ve enjoyed the new challenge and I think I’ve been really pleased with my performances personally when I’ve been given the chances. I feel like I probably haven’t been given the chances I would have liked, I would have liked to pay a lot more minutes but I feel like every time I come on I’ve done well and now I’m still one of the top scorers, if not the top scorer in the team.
“With such limited time so I don’t think I could do much more than that. Obviously, I’m never going to be totally happy if I’m not playing because I’m a proud player, I believe I should be playing and I always want to be playing so I’ll never be happy with not playing.
“The experience, going on loan there’s a lot of things more than just on the pitch and I think I’ve learned a lot as a person and developed a lot. It’s still early stages and I’m really looking forward to the future. It’s a great club with great fans and I’m sure once I get the opportunity to show why I could be playing week in, week out, kick on and enjoy it even more.”
Arsenal are keeping tabs on Eddie and there are rumours that the club would review his loan deal if the situation doesn’t change. Nketiah’s hat-trick for the England U21s means he is now averaging a goal every 72 minutes for club and country and his goalscoring rate might have been even better had he not missed a penalty won by Rhian Brewster after already scoring a fine treble.