Bielsa discusses Nketiah in depth; claims guarantees were never made

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa claims that guarantees were never made to Arsenal over Eddie Nketiah’s game time at Elland Road.

The striker returned to The Emirates after being recalled from his loan spell in west Yorkshire, having scored five goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for Bielsa’s men.

That has left Leeds short on attacking options, but Bielsa is confident new signings will arrive before the close of the January transfer window.

Speaking at his press conference before the weekend clash with Sheffield Wednesday, the Argentine said: “You have an ideal situation and possible situations. The club with Orta and Radrizzani, they are ready to resolve these needs.

“We thought we had resolved this with Nketiah. With all the efforts the club did when he arrived. Finally, it wasn’t a good decision because he decided to leave the club.

“I don’t know the reasons why we made Arsenal decide Eddie doesn’t continue with us, but if the reason is he didn’t play enough, nobody can guarantee a player minutes he will have and nobody can say to one player he is not going to have competition in the position.

“We are satisfied we chose him because in two opportunities he removed Bamford from the starting XI. His performances were very good. The month he’s been with us, five months, is natural when players arrive they need adaptation time.

“When one player is outside the group because one month of injury, it’s natural he needs more time to adapt again to the team dynamic.

“Three months from the five he was with us, that is natural during those three months he prepared himself to be ready to play. Arsenal and Eddie chose Leeds to prepare him to compete with one player as Bamford to be the goalscorer and we did all this.

“Two times he got what he was looking for. The opposite is if we said to him he was going to play in any way. We didn’t say this and we never said this because we cannot feel this.


“Always doing all the things with all the effort, doesn’t happen what we all expected.

“Nketiah was a brilliant option for us. Now we are going to look for one option that has to be very good as well. The same or better than Nketiah, but it’s necessary to know about the process, the time needed.

“We are not going to choose one player that justifies us in front of the public, but doesn’t make us strong as a team.”

One player who has been linked with a switch to Elland Road is Southampton striker Che Adams and Bielsa gave little away when quizzed about the player. Read more…