Marcelo Bielsa is not expected to rip up his Leeds United striker plans despite Eddie Nketiah’s sensational England hat-trick, Football Insider understands.
The striker, 20, continued his hot scoring streak with three goals for the Under-21s as they mauled Austria 5-1 last night and extended their 100% winning record in Euro 2021 qualifying.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Bielsa has no plans to bin Patrick Bamford as his number one striker for this weekend’s Championship showdown against Birmingham City.
That is set to mean that Nketiah will return to the substitute’s bench and continue to have to wait for his first Leeds start in the league.
The Arsenal loanee would have taken his haul to five goals for the Under-21s during the international break – he also scored against Slovenia last Friday – had he converted a late penalty against Austria.
Yet Bielsa is keen to persist with Bamford as the lone spearhead after he started all 11 of Leeds’ Championship matches this season.
The Argentine believes the £7million signing from Middlesbrough’s all-round game is better suited to leading the attack at this point.
Bielsa has been delighted with Bamford’s performances this season even though his tally of four goals is the same as that of Nketiah.
There have been calls for the centre-forward duo to be paired in a two-pronged attack, but that is not a strategy the manager is considering at this stage.
The 20-year-old has yet to start a league match for the Whites, but he has been used as a substitute in seven of their last eight Championship games and started both of their League Cup fixtures.
Football Insider pundit and ex-Leeds forward Noel Whelan revealed earlier this week how Nketiah’s second-string status raises fears he will lose patience and find another loan club in January.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that scouts of Champions League giants have been ‘BLOWN AWAY’ by Elland Road player.