Darren Bent criticises Bielsa's failure to start Nketiah at Leeds United
Ex-Tottenham Hotspur forward Darren Bent believes Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa is not helping Eddie Nketiah by starting him from the bench.
The 20-year old, who is of Ghanaian origin, starred for the England U21 team during the international break, but that did not prompt Bielsa to give him his first start in the Championship at the weekend.
The manager instead started Patrick Bamford whom Nketiah replaced at the start of the second half in the 1-0 win over Birmingham City.
“Yeah, he’s not doing Eddie any favours or Leeds any favour because I’m telling you if this continues in January, Arsenal will take him out of there and play him somewhere else," Bent told Football Insider.
You can’t have a kid like that raring to go, we’ve just seen him score a hat-trick for England’s U21s, playing at a really good level, getting 15 minutes there or getting 30 minutes there, it’s not going to work.
“Arsenal will say it’s not good enough as we’ve sent him out to get minutes and he’s not getting minutes, so what is going to happen, Arsenal will take him out of Leeds and they will be left with one striker, then what do they do?”
Bamford has the same number of competitive goals (four) as Nketiah, but he has played more minutes (877) to the Arsenal loanee's 329 minutes.
Gunners coach Unai Emery had earlier stated he is not bothered about Nketiah playing just a few minutes of Championship football and he is confident his rising star will get more playing time at Elland Road.
“Now is not the moment. We are in October. He’s now on loan at Leeds,” Emery told the media.
“I respect his coach [for] his decision and I think he’s going to play more. He’s going to deserve it."
Bielsa on his path has said he will shoulder the blame if Nketiah does not excel at Leeds.
"For me it is very important that Eddie has a good spell at Leeds,” the former Lille boss told the media.
"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 coach, I have to know how to manage all this skill to improve the team."
The Whites will be in action away to Preston North End on Tuesday night.