Eddie Nketiah has admitted that Unai Emery wanted him to stay with Arsenal this season, but eventually, they decided it was in his best interest to join Leeds on loan.
Nketiah completed a move to Leeds late in the summer transfer window, after a lot of speculation around his immediate future.
The young striker was Arsenal’s joint-top scorer in pre-season, and it seemed like he was finally going to get a chance to make an impact with the first team. That understandably sparked a lot of transfer offers though, resulting in his loan move to the Championship.
Nketiah says Emery wanted him to remain in North London this season, which he took as a compliment. After just 331 minutes for the Arsenal first team last season though, the 20-year-old felt a loan move was the best thing for him.
“The manager wanted me to stay so it’s really confidence-boosting for me that he had me in his plans,” Nketiah said (via HITC).
“I felt like it was a good step for me to come to Leeds. I hope it’s a good year that can leave me in good stead going back to Arsenal to fight for a place.
“There were a lot of options, there were options for me to go to Germany but me, my family and the club decided Leeds was the best place.”
Nketiah has scored three goals in five games with Leeds so far, as well as one goal in one appearance for their u23s. He’s yet to start a game in the Championship though, despite scoring in both of his starts in the League Cup.
The academy graduate is currently away with the England u21s over the international break, before an away trip to Barnsley next Sunday.