By 90Min
October 25, 2019

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has explained at length the logic behind refusing to start Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah in a staunch defence of his own tactics.

Nketiah is yet to start a Championship game since arriving at Elland Road in the summer, but the young striker has still managed to rack up three goals. Meanwhile, Patrick Bamford has started all 13 games, but he is without a goal in his last eight outings.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Speaking ahead of Leeds' meeting with Sheffield Wednesday (via The Mirror), Bielsa went into great detail about his decision to persist with Bamford, insisting that Nketiah does not do enough in the build-up to attacks.

"Big teams, like Arsenal, they have a lot of players that can win one match with one play. This is natural, Nketiah has developed in this school," Bielsa said.

"And he has all the resources, skills, to resolve the needs of scoring one goal. But we need to build the chance at goal. And we cannot build the chances if we don’t have a structure within all the players to create the chances.

"You will see that every time is going to be less difficult to Eddie to be more similar to give this contribution to the team. When he in the last match went to the pitch at Preston, the match was played in the place of the pitch where he plays better, by the box.

"Against Birmingham he was far from the box and without offensive creation. And against Birmingham he didn't have a good match, against Preston he had an impact.

"To finish this explanation, the most important, what he does when we have to score. Nketiah is very good at scoring. Also Bamford. But Bamford is missing chances and Nketiah is scoring. But there is a fact before you score a goal, you build the situation that allow the chance to score."

Bielsa did go on to admit that Nketiah's work rate is clear to see, but it is how he applies that work rate which has seen him struggle to earn a place in the team.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

"Bamford or Nketiah – which player do you think ran more? [Journalists answer Bamford] No, Nketiah. You know why? Bamford ran for the needs of the team. Nketiah ran just to try and score," the boss explained.

"The metres that Bamford ran is true to the team. And to finish, Nketiah puts these meters in to finish the action. It's natural. What I'm looking for, to achieve that Eddie feels the needs of the team and that he understands if he doesn't put the metres in both things, he is going to have less chances to score."


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