Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah has revealed that he learned a lot during his loan spell at Leeds United. The youngster agreed to link up with Marcelo Bielsa for the entire season, last summer, but the Gunners cut the deal short over a lack of playing time.
Nketiah played in 19 matches for Leeds during the first-half of the season.
While he made 17 Championship appearances for the Whites, he was only named in Bielsa’s starting line-up on two occasions during the league campaign.
During that time, however, he scored five goals, including three in the Championship.
Nketiah admitted that he wanted to play more at Leeds, but he still gained a lot from the experience.
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“My Leeds experience was good for me,” Nketiah said. “I learned as a player.
“I might not have played as much as I want but I had good moments when I was there when I came on and played. It’s just about learning and developing.
“It started really well. Obviously, I came on and if you check my minutes-to-goal ratio, it’s quite good but obviously it’s just how things are.
“Sometimes the manager makes his decision and you have to deal with it. It’s about learning from that environment. It’s a very good environment to be in, it’s a very demanding coach and I learned a lot.”
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After his difficult spell at Leeds, in which Bielsa appeared to favour striker Patrick Bamford, Nketiah insisted that he’s happy at Arsenal.
He’s constantly looking for ways to improve and move forward as an individual, and he gave a special mention to Mikel Arteta.
“You have to learn about yourself and take each opportunity as it comes,” he said. “I’m here playing at Arsenal, which is a dream.
“A lot of people would do a lot to get this opportunity.
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“It’s just about moving forward, taking what I learned and trying to implement it and continue learning and developing.
“I’m grateful to be here at Arsenal, my home club, and the manager has shown a lot of faith in me.
“I’m happy that I’m able to work hard and try to repay that faith in him. It’s about learning.
“I’ve got a lot to learn and there’s no better way to do so than on the field on the biggest stage.”
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Nketiah scored his first Premier League goal of the season for Arsenal on Sunday, during their 3-2 win over Everton.
He side-footed home a delicious cross from youngster Bukayo Saka in the first-half, to bring the score back to 1-1.
The goal was the first time two Arsenal players under 21 years old combined for a Premier League goal since 2008, when Nicklas Bendtner scored from a Denilson assist.
Nketiah has started the last two matches for the Gunners in the league, as he hopes to maintain his place in the team ahead of team-mate Alexandre Lacazette.
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