PATRICK BAMFORD believes it is crucial that Arsenal loanee striker Eddie Nketiah stays with Leeds United for the duration of the Championship campaign.
United beat off competition from a host of clubs to land England under-21s striker Nketiah on a season-long loan in August but the 20-year-old is still awaiting his first Whites league start.
There are going to be times where there are three games in a week and it is going to be tough and you are going to need those other options to bring on and sometimes, games might demand different things.Patrick Bamford
Nketiah, who scored twice in United Under-23s 5-1 win at Bolton Wanderers last night, was set to finally make his full Whites Championship debut in November’s clash at home to Queens Park Rangers but the young Gunner picked up a lower-abdominal injury in training the day before.
The problem ruled Nketiah out for a month and Bamford has been in a rich vein of form in the lone-striker role of late with the forward netting four goals in his last eight games.
With Nketiah continually having to make to do with second-half outings from the bench, Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa has already fielded questions about the possibility of Arsenal recalling the forward come the opening of the January transfer window and potentially loaned elsewhere.
Asked how important it is that Nketiah stays put at Leeds, Bamford said: “I think it is crucial as the Championship is a really demanding league.
“There are going to be times where there are three games in a week and it is going to be tough and you are going to need those other options to bring on and sometimes, games might demand different things.
“It is important to have options and we have Tyler [Roberts] who has been injured as well and he has got to come back.
“We have not had a full squad for a long, sustained period and it is going to be good when it is firing. To be honest, I know that even if Eddie was not here, I know that I can’t lay off it if I want to get promoted,” said Bamford.