Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa confirms Eddie Nketiah has been recalled by Arsenal

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed on-loan Arsenal striker has been recalled by the Premier League club following Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at West Brom.

The England Under-21 international made just his second start in the Sky Bet Championship for the Whites but was replaced at half-time by Patrick Bamford, who grabbed the equaliser for the league leaders.

Nketiah made 19 appearances and scored five goals in total during his temporary switch to Leeds.

Bielsa said: “Arsenal have informed he will not continue with us and we are sorry for that.

“Eddie arrived at Leeds when the Championship had started and had to spend time adapting to our style.

“He didn’t take this decision, but he’s a great player, excellent professional and had very good behaviour – a gentleman in every sense.”

The 20-year-old also took to social media to confirm the news, he wrote on Twitter: “Unfortunately my time Leeds has come to an end.

“It’s been an amazing experience and a privilege to play for such an amazing club. I would like to say a big thank you to my team-mates, the coaching staff and the manager for making my time here an enjoyable one.

“Lastly, a big thank you to all the wonderful fans for taking to me so quickly. I wish the club all the best and I’m sure you’ll get to the promised land.”

Bielsa and Slaven Bilic both accepted that a point apiece was a fair reflection of the match.

The battle of the top two in the Championship began with a bang when Semi Ajayi put the hosts ahead within two minutes.

Leeds fought back in the second half, though, and Bielsa reaped instant rewards after introducing Bamford – he levelled things up after 55 minutes.

Bielsa said: “We should have won the match, but also we could have lost the match. How we managed the game was very good, but there were chances in both boxes.

“Maybe our chances were a little more possible and after we built some situations we couldn’t finish in a chance.

“Nketiah did something to their centre-backs and Bamford took advantage of the exhausted centre-backs due to Nketiah’s work.

“Also Bamford, for his physical characteristics, worked better against their defenders.

“Two sides played the match, no speculation, without violence. We keep within the rules. Nobody wanted to take advantage or use the rules to get an advantage. A team with good intentions, they play differently to us.

“They have great strikers. We managed the match, but we could not avoid them creating chances.”

Bilic, who saw his side miss a golden opportunity to double their lead before half-time when Matty Phillips was denied, could not complain about the result.

“Fair result. Very fair,” Bilic said. “Both teams had chances. We had more chances, but if we count they had more possession, we had more shots, more chances. Very fair. Could have been different if we score the second before half-time.

“All there to score, but praise the goalkeeper. Much harder for them. Enough time, but you become nervous when you have to score two or three to win the game. They had possession, but most of it was where we wanted them to have it.

“Very few times they were splitting us in two. What pleases me is it was not all them after they equalised. (It was a) very open game.

“Both teams should use this to know mentally, ‘Yes, we are good’. We coped with the best. From our side and their side.

“This performance was more than enough to get that momentum back. Told the players I didn’t care about the result yesterday, just wanted them to go out and be themselves.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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