By Noel Whelan

22nd Oct, 2019 | 1:27pm

Exclusive: Whelan fears Leeds risk losing player in January after development

Noel Whelan fears Arsenal may recall Eddie Nketiah from his Leeds United loan in January after Marcelo Bielsa announced his starting XI for tonight.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United forward explained how Bielsa is increasing the risk of losing Nketiah the more he persists with Patrick Bamford as the first choice striker.

The Leeds manager announced at his media conference yesterday that he will select an unchanged side for tonight’s Championship clash against Preston North End at Deepdale.

That means Nketiah will be on the substitute’s bench once again as he continues to wait for his first United league start.

There is a mid-season recall clause in the England Under-21 international’s season-long loan although it can only be triggered by Arsenal if he has not been selected for a pre-agreed amount of match action.

“There is the possibility he will be recalled in January,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Arsenal have loaned him out expecting him to get more game time than he has.

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“The longer Bielsa stays faithful to Patrick Bamford, the bigger the risk of losing Eddie Nketiah. 

“Personally, I think he should stay at Leeds. But there’s no doubt he would be starting regularly at other teams, including Bristol City.

“But he is getting a better standard of team at Leeds and a better standard of coaching, which is more like the Arsenal way.

“I know what players are like these days, patience isn’t one of their strong suits. We have a player hungry to play who thinks he should be in the team. How long will he be willing to bide his time on the bench?”

Nketiah has yet to start a league match for the Whites, although he has been used as a substitute in eight of their last nine Championship games.

The prolific young striker has scored four goals for Leeds, two in the Championship and two in the League Cup.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have suffered a major new injury blow to star player.