Why Eddie Nketiah could be a massive boost for Bristol City in January
According to Bristol Live, Bristol City are expected to move for Arsenal starlet Eddie Nketiah during the mid-season trading period in January if the Gunners recall the striker from his loan spell at Leeds United.
Bristol City’s interest in the 20-year-old hitman has been well-documented in recent times and club CEO Mark Ashton has once again confirmed that the Robins continue to hold a keen interest in securing a loan deal for the England U-21 international in January. (h/t Bristol Live)
The Robins had initially been linked with a move for Nketiah during the summer window but they were eventually beaten to his signature by promotion rivals Leeds United. (h/t Bristol Live)
However, four months down the line, the starlet’s future at Elland Road continues to be up in the air, with his lack of playtime in the Championship under Marcelo Bielsa infuriating Arsenal and putting him on the verge of a recall to his parent club midway through the campaign. (h/t Bristol Live)
The 21-year-old has scored 4 times in 13 appearances for the Whites so far but he has only started twice for the club in the League Cup, with the starlet’s involvement in the Championship limited to as many as eleven cameos off the bench.
With Nketiah is yet to start a single league fixture four months into his loan spell and Leeds United apparently on the verge of completing a swoop for Burnley striker Matej Vydra in a bid to bolster their attack (Mondo Udinese h/t Bristol Live), speculations regarding Nketiah’s recall to Arsenal in January certainly seem to make sense.
Now, as per the report, Bristol City are ready to pounce on the opportunity to nab Eddie Nketiah on loan during the mid-season trading period if Arsenal do end up putting a premature end to his temporary stint at Elland Road.
The Robins are currently lacking depth in their striking options following a long-term injury to Stoke City loanee Benik Afobe, who struck 3 goals in 5 appearances in August before suffering a dreadful anterior cruciate ligament damage.
Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Rodri was roped in as a free agent on a short-term deal until January to ensure adequate competition for places, however, the Spaniard has failed to make much of an impression over the past couple of months at Ashton Gate, with only a single start to his name in the Championship so far.
Andreas Weimann and Senegalese international Famara Diedhiou continue to be the main striking options for manager Lee Johnson but the Robins do not have much depth beyond that and an injury to either of them during the second half of the campaign could render them short of specialist options up top.
Bristol City moved up to 5th in the standings with a 5-2 demolition of Huddersfield Town at the weekend and while a tally of 31 goals in 19 games looks impressive on paper, a lack of depth in the attack could well come back to haunt them in their pursuit of promotion when the race goes down to the wire in the latter stages of the campaign.
To that end, securing the services of an exciting young striker like Eddie Nketiah on loan in January could definitely hand a massive boost to Bristol City’s overall squad depth.
Despite his lack of starts at Leeds United, the 20-year-old has shown that he is more than capable of making an impact with his pace and clinical finishing in front of goal, having managed to keep 7 out of his attempted 12 shots on target, as per whoscored.
Nketiah, who is held in high regard by the coaching staff at Arsenal, seems to have all the makings of evolving into a top-quality professional in the years to come and the Robins could be in for some real fun in the second half of the season if Lee Johnson manages to unlock his true potential.
Goals often prove to be the ultimate difference in the promotion race and Nketiah certainly looks capable of improving the Robins’ attack. Things might not have gone his way at Leeds United but the Arsenal academy graduate continues to be an exceptional talent.
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With that in mind, Bristol City should go all out in their pursuit of Eddie Nketiah in January if the opportunity presents itself.