Unai Emery Admits He Was Initially Reluctant to Let Eddie Nketiah Leave on Loan

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that Eddie Nketiah would have played a part in the Gunners' season, but felt that the young striker may benefit more from a loan move away from the club. 

The 20-year-old, who impressed for Arsenal during pre-season, completed a season-long loan move to Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United on deadline day, with the Whites looking to replace Kemar Roofe following his departure to Vincent Kompany's Anderlecht.   

Eddie Nketiah

Emery has since admitted that he was unsure about letting Nketiah head out on loan, but changed his mind after realising how much first team exposure he would receive in the Championship.

"It was the same with Eddie Nketiah, my first decision was not to let him leave," Emery said, as quoted by football.London.

"But after he spoke and [considering] the possibility of how many matches he is going to play with us, I said to him I could give him a lot of minutes this year but maybe he can improve more playing regularly 90 minutes each Sunday with ​Leeds.


"Our objective with him is: 'play and come back here, we want to be with you in the future.' It's the same with other young players."

Nketiah himself believes that he can grow more as a player with regular minutes under his belt, stating:"I've been at ​Arsenal for a while now in and around the first team, on the fringes and played a bit so I feel like it was important this season for me to go somewhere where I feel like I can get consistent game time and take the next step in my development.

"I feel like I can do that here. Also, there is a big pressure here to try and get promotion and I feel like it will be good for me to learn how to play under that and deal with that.

Nketiah made seven appearances for Arsenal during pre-season, scoring three goals, which included a last-minute winner against ​Bayern Munich and a brace against Fiorentina. 

He also bagged his first ​Premier League goal for the Gunners on the final day of last season, scoring a stoppage-time goal in their 3-1 win over ​Burnley

Source : 90min