Old friends were reunited at Elland Road on Sunday evening as Eddie Nketiah returned with Arsenal, hoping his current side could get one over a Leeds United team he spent five months with.
The 2019/20 season was immensely successful from the club’s perspective, clinching promotion by a whopping 12 points, but some individuals will know it wasn’t the most vintage campaign from them.
Loan deals for Eddie Nketiah and Jean-Kevin Augustin followed a similar pattern of the players struggling to get to grips with BielsaBall, but the former still managed five goals for the club before he returned to North London in January.
Having been recalled to Arsenal on New Year’s Day last season, Nketiah has been a first-team player under Mikel Arteta, playing as third choice in the number nine running that neither Aubameyang or Lacazette look like taking advantage of at the minute.
He arrived at Elland Road with the Gunners on Sunday looking hopeful of making an impact off that bench but was unused as the visitors sat deep with 10 men.
The clash ended 0-0 despite Leeds’ best efforts to open the scoring, and Nketiah took to Twitter after the game to send a positive message to the Leeds fans who were chanting his name a year ago:
Nketiah, here, is pictured with Leeds’ Tyler Roberts, with the pair clearly still friends after separating last January.
I’m baffled that Nketiah isn’t getting more game time considering Aubameyang has scored one goal from open play this season and Lacazette hasn’t been doing it for a while now.
Bukayo Saka has been given faith by Arteta and is being repaid, but surely Nketiah is worth a go in this spell of form.
It didn’t quite work out for Nketiah at Elland Road which is a shame because everyone wanted it to work so much, but he’ll be a starter for Arsenal before long.
He’s a very likeable, clearly, and that stands him in such good stead going forward in his career.