Darren Bent says that it is “disappointing” to see Eddie Nketiah’s loan spell at Leeds United cut short by Arsenal.
The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa needs to take some of the blame after the forward’s lack of game time.
The Argentine boss confirmed after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with West Brom that the 20-year-old would be heading back to Arsenal after they decided to recall him early.
💬 "He’s a great player, excellent professional and had very good behaviour- a gentleman in every sense." Marcelo confirms Eddie's return to Arsenal
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 1, 2020
Bent says he is disappointed with how things have turned out for the young attacker and says that the Leeds boss needs to take responsibility for his early departure.
“It was disappointing but I think Bielsa’s got to take a little bit of blame for that because there were times where he could have been used a lot more,” Bent told Football Insider.
“There was the rumour that he was going to end up going back to Arsenal because he wasn’t getting enough game time and that’s what happened now.
“Bielsa liked (Patrick) Bamford and stuck with him. Given where Leeds are in the table you’d probably say it’s the right decision but at the same time it was a bit of an indictment on Eddie Nketiah. I thought he did well when he got his opportunities.
“It’s now about him going back to Arsenal and maybe going somewhere else to try and get game time. It’s a disappointing one and I think he’ll look back and feel he could have done more but at the same time I don’t think he was given a fair crack of the whip.”
Wednesday’s clash against West Brom was just Nketiah’s second Championship start during his time at Elland Road, his first coming just days before in the 5-4 win over Birmingham.
He leaves the Whites with five goals in 18 appearances across all competitions.
In other Leeds United news, Alan Hutton has delivered a “brilliant” verdict on the club’s promotion hopes.