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Nketiah defied Emery’s wishes when leaving Arsenal for Leeds loan

17:02 EAT 07/09/2019
Eddie Nketiah Arsenal 2019-20
The highly-rated forward was urged to remain at Emirates Stadium by the manager at his parent club, but opted to go in search of games at Elland Road

Eddie Nketiah has admitted to defying the wishes of Arsenal manager Unai Emery in pushing through a loan switch to Leeds.

The 20-year-old forward caught the eye for the Gunners during pre-season and is held in high regard by those in north London.

Emery had been hoping to keep the youngster in his plans for 2019-20, giving him another option in a striking pool which includes Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Nketiah, though, was eager to ensure that he found regular minutes in his ongoing development.

Leeds offered him that opportunity in the Championship and the England U21 international jumped at the chance to swap Emirates Stadium for Elland Road.

“The manager wanted me to stay so it's really confidence-boosting for me that he had me in his plans,” Nketiah said in the Daily Mail.

“But I felt like it was a good step for me to come to Leeds. I hope it's a good year that can leave me in good stead going back to Arsenal to fight for a place.

“There were a lot of options, there were options for me to go to Germany but me, my family and the club decided Leeds was the best place.”

Nketiah is already up and running in the goalscoring stakes for Leeds, with three efforts recorded across five appearances.

His solitary strike in league action proved to be the match-winner in a meeting with Brentford.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright was in attendance for that contest, with the former Gunners star looking to offer the benefits of his considerable experience to Nketiah.

“I feel like in the last year or so he's started to communicate a lot more,' Nketiah said.

“He messages me, asks me how I am, how I'm finding things up in Leeds.

“It's a dream come true to have one of your heroes speaking to you.

“It's about expressing myself and (giving) tips for being a striker. It's been like an arm round the shoulder, being nice and friendly, comforting me, seeing how things are going.”

Leeds, who have made a positive start to the 2019-20 campaign, will return to action after the international break with a Yorkshire derby against Barnsley on September 15.