With the October break in full flow and Leeds United fans still discussing the hugely disappointing (and unfair) defeat to Millwall last weekend, one of the other topics still up for debate at Elland Road is Patrick Bamford vs Eddie Nketiah.
Leeds fans already seem to have their favoured pick, with many feeling Nketiah is the second coming who simply doesn’t get a chance, and others feeling that we are seeing more (and better) from Bamford despite the frustrating misses that he’s capable of.
On a statistics front, both players have scored four goals across all competitions, but obviously Bamford, as the main starter for manager Marcelo Bielsa, has gained significantly more minutes.
Former player and now BBC pundit Noel Whelan has claimed this week that Bielsa is creating a problem for himself when it comes to the 20-year-old Arsenal starlet, as he simply isn’t getting enough game time.
Whelan feels that if that doesn’t change ahead of the January transfer window opening, Arsenal will recall the lad.
“There is the possibility he will be recalled in January. It all depends on how much game time he is getting, and at the moment he is only playing as a sub. He has showed a lot of talent and potential, and is a really exciting young striker. He’s loved by the fans. A lot of other clubs wanted him in the summer and you can see why. It’s a problem for Leeds as Nketiah would be starting at other clubs in the Championship. You look at Bristol City who have lost Benik Afobe for the rest of the season. Much depends on the player’s character. It may only be a short time before he starts getting frustrated. How much is he willing to stay patient?”
There’s little new in this talk but there is certainly a lot of hedging bets. Nketiah is getting games, but he also needs to improve and impress more. In some ways you could argue, if Nketiah was in pole position as Whelan and others seem to want, we’d have a demotivated Bamford and we’d still be running the risk of a recall owing to his form.
Few know Arsenal’s thoughts here, few know Nketiah’s…everything else is piddling in the wind.