Worrying: Leeds could be left in huge bother if 5 ft 9 man exits in January – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

Leeds lack goals. They lack the firepower and they lack a ruthlessness in the box.

In 2019/20, they’ve scored the tenth highest number of goals in the Championship despite boasting the greatest shots per game tally of any side.

The fact they could lose Eddie Nketiah in January, therefore, is a serious concern.

Nketiah has yet to start a game in the league but even so, he’s still scored the same amount of goals as Patrick Bamford has managed in all competitions – a record that stands at four.

Reports emerged last weekend that Bristol City were again keeping an eye on the 20-year-old who initially rejected the Robins over the summer.

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Arsenal have the option to recall him in January, and it’s a clause that could ultimately leave Leeds in a world of pain in the New Year.

Why? Because the Whites would be left with just one senior striker. If their inability to find the back of the net is a concern now, it could become even greater if Nketiah left.

The 5 foot 9 forward has made a positive impact on supporters this term, so much so that they were crying out for him to start just a number of weeks ago.

However, any exit occurring would only put them in bother.

Leeds don’t have the financial might to add someone to their ranks on a permanent basis and it’s highly unlikely they’d find many better strikers available to them in the loan market.

After all, this is a player Arsenal wanted to keep at the club this season – a glowing indication of the fine footballer he is.

Andrea Radrizzani recently revealed to The Times: “It’s financially not sustainable to keep this level of salary which is now over £30m, probably £33m with Marcelo and closer to £40m with the coaches.”

Leeds may have seen 31 players walk out the exit door on a temporary or permanent basis last summer but it doesn’t appear as though that has done a lot to improve matters financially.

It suggests permanent incomings may be difficult in January and shows why Leeds must hold onto him.

The power may ultimately lie with Arsenal but they can do a lot to avoid a struggle to acquire a forward in two months time by playing him now.

Nketiah’s development is of utmost importance to the Gunners and if he isn’t starting matches, the possibility of him heading back to north London will only grow.

Marcelo Bielsa must be weary.

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