The Square Ball’s Daniel Chapman has backed Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah to be the exception to the rule and prove himself as an exciting addition, despite his temporary future at Elland Road, as shared in their column for the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Nketiah moved to West Yorkshire from his North London side on a season-long loan deal on Deadline Day, with reports suggesting Victor Orta agreed to take on the promising youngster’s entire £35,000-a-week contract on top of a £2million-plus loan fee.
That money could have been put toward offering last season’s top goalscorer Kemar Roofe a new contract, who instead left the club on a permanent deal and signed for Vincent Kompany’s RSC Anderlecht.
But with little time left in the market once the Walsall-born hitman’s move was finalised, Director of Football Victor Orta returned to the loan market to acquire 5 ft 9 Nketiah as Roofe’s replacement; having only signed academy prospect Liam McCarron permanently, with deals for Helder Costa, Ben White, Illan Meslier and Jack Harrison all temporary arrangements – albeit holding purchase clauses for Costa and Meslier.
Loan deals are rarely as exciting as permanent transfers though, but Chapman feels Nketiah has the potential to send the Elland Road faithful into scenes of jubilant celebrations this season.
“Nketiah is, on paper, the loan player we’ve been crying out for,” he wrote.
“While Aston Villa had [Tammy] Abraham and Tyrone Mings last season, we had Izzy Brown and Lewis Baker, and a feeling like we’d been cheated. This feels more like the market done right.
“Nketiah was paraded for the crowd at Elland Road on Saturday like an exciting new signing and, contract terms aside, he is. His Premier League reputation and potential price tag puts pressure on [Patrick] Bamford the way a permanent signing from the EFL or abroad might not.
“Nketiah was trying to take Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s shirt at Arsenal, so he should have no trouble imagining he can take Patrick Bamford’s if United’s no. 9 doesn’t sharpen his finishing.”