Date: 28th August 2019 at 8:00am
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EXCLUSIVE

Noel Whelan has tipped Eddie Nketiah to be handed his first Leeds United start in the Championship by Marcelo Bielsa after his latest goalscoring display.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker claimed it’s only a matter of time before the on-loan Arsenal forward is named in the league starting XI.

Nketiah scored his third goal for the Whites last night as they were knocked out of the League Cup by Stoke City on penalties after drawing 2-2 at the end of normal time.

Nketiah played the full match and reduced the deficit to 2-1 in the second half as he provided further evidence of his goalscoring ability when he seized upon a mistake by Stoke keeper Jack Butland.

“I’m looking forward to seeing more of Nketiah and there’s no doubt I will,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He is looking sharp and last night’s game will help get his fitness and sharpness up to speed.

“He looks brilliant. You watch him play and think, ‘wow, he’s outstanding’ – the movement, the pace, the knack for being in the right place at the right time. Proper striker.

“Nketiah will be in the first team in the league soon enough, and Patrick Bamford will be on the bench. Bamford has made an excellent start to the season and looks fitter and stronger than last season, but he is not going to start every game.

“He doesn’t have a great injury record, so the two of them will be vying for the spearhead role. Healthy competition is good. They will make each other better players.”

Nketiah has started both of Leeds’ League Cup matches but his two appearances in the Championship have come as a substitute.

Bamford has spearheaded the attack in each of United’s five league matches this season.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are to hold imminent talks with 23-year-old over a deal worth more than £10million.