With Eddie Nketiah set to be recalled by Arsenal from Leeds United, could the Blades look to make their move for one of England’s hottest young strikers?
It’s certainly something for the powers that be at Bramall Lane to consider. According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have grown frustrated with Nketiah’s spell at Elland Road. A lack of starts and minutes under Marcelo Bielsa has meant Nketiah has found regular football hard to come by.
The England under-21 star has made an impact at times when used. Five goals across all competitions show he knows where the net is. Furthermore, he’s netted eight times in eight games for his national team at under-21 level.
Patrick Bamford is the man keeping Nketiah out of the picture. While Bamford is doing well in his own right and Leeds are well in the promotion hunt, Arsenal will not be happy that one of their prized young assets is sitting on the bench all the time.
Why might Sheffield United fancy taking a punt on Eddie Nketiah?
With the January window rolling around soon, the Blades will be in the hunt for a few new players. Chris Wilder has already admitted he hopes for some incomings and outgoings at the club.
Striking options are always hard to find. Clubs usually want big money, something the Blades will probably not have to hand. That’s why Nketiah, then, makes for an intriguing potential loan signing.
Chris Wilder has used Billy Sharp sparingly this season. But for his goal on the opening day of the season, he’s not managed to contribute too much to the cause. This past week saw Sharp get his first start of the season.
Whether the club captain is potentially on his way out of the club after this season is another discussion. But in Nketiah, the Blades could be getting a younger version of Sharp.
Striking instincts and natural goalscorer
The great thing about Billy Sharp is he has that ‘knack’ so many ex-professionals talk about. He knows how to move in and around the box. He finds himself in space when others wouldn’t. Crucially, he can also finish.
This is something Nketiah has demonstrated already in his young career. He got the winning goal for Leeds against Brentford earlier in the season, scored a crucial one in a win at Barnsley a few weeks later, then did it again at Preston North End.
All of those three league goals have come from in and around the six-yard box. It’s a natural instinct that, even with all the modern technology and coaching methodology, simply cannot be taught.
Of course, Chris Wilder is currently opting to go with Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick upfront. Nketiah would have to fight his way into the team once again. Wilder, though, has already spoken of the need to have all his strikers offering something different. Nketiah’s poaching style would certainly bring that to Bramall Lane.
Couple that with the chance to learn from an old master like Billy Sharp, play in an exciting Premier League team such as United’s and contribute to a team looking to cement their PL status, it might be an opportunity Nketiah can’t pass up.
In such a competitive market, the Blades making a move for Eddie Nketiah might well prove a successful punt.