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Marcelo Bielsa says he will be responsible if Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah isn’t a success at Leeds

Eddie Nketiah

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa says he will take the blame if Eddie Nketiah is not a success at Elland Road.

The Arsenal loanee has scored two goals in seven Championship appearances since dropping down to the second tier at the start of the season.

However, all seven of those outings have come from the bench, with Nketiah still awaiting his first league start for Leeds.

There have been calls for the youngster to become a permanent fixtue in Bielsa’s starting XI after he netted a hat-trick for England’s Under-21 side against Austria on Tuesday.

And the Argentinian insists he will be responsible if Nketiah does not enjoy a positive season in Yorkshire.

“For me it is very important that Eddie has a good spell at Leeds,” he said. “If Nketiah doesn't do well here in Leeds, the responsibility is going to be mine.

“That will be fair because Nketiah is a player full of results and, as coach, I have to know how to manage all this skill to improve the team. The person who most wants Nketiah to have success at Leeds is me, but also I value [Patrick] Bamford – I value him a lot.

"When someone takes decisions, they have to take decisions that have to last in the team. It is not just in response to the supporters, the public. It is about taking decisions that last in time, at the right moment, when the team needs it.

"After, I back the player who comes into the team. When one player deserves to be in the starting XI, after I back them to stay in the team. Nketiah is in this process.”

Leeds, who are fifth in the Championship table after winning six, drawing two and losing three of their first 11 matches, will lock horns with Birmingham at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon.


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