Nketiah makes claim for more playing time with hat-trick
(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Another game, another goal for Eddie Nketiah.

In fact, he showed his talent in front of goal with a brilliant hat-trick to inspire England U21s to a 5-0 rout of Austria U21s, and the young striker will be hoping Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa was watching. 

The Argentine manager fought off stiff competition to sign the forward on loan, with the club having to produce a detailed presentation of how they planned to use and develop Nketiah during his time in Yorkshire.

He made a dream start with a goal on his debut against Salford City in the Carabao Cup and has continued from there with a further three goals and an assist in the seven games that have followed. 

However, he is yet to start in the SkyBet Championship with Patrick Bamford the preferred option upfront despite matching Nketiah’s goal total with 500 minutes extra under his belt. 

Arsenal have taken a more proactive approach when it comes to their loaned out players recently with the promotion of Ben Knapper to loan manager in January, last year. Gone are the days that the Gunners would leave Serge Gnabry to decline at West Brom and the German’s emergence at Bayern Munich is a prime example of why the club should be monitoring their loanees.

Nketiah is highly regarded at the club and this is season is a pivotal one in his development and the Gunners will be slightly concerned their player has not been granted the minutes promised to him in the transfer-sealing presentation. 

Frustration with lack of playing time

The 21-year-old pulled no punches in his assessment of the current situation. Speaking to Goal.com he said: "From my point of view, I feel like I've done everything I can to warrant a start and all I can do is continue to apply that pressure by putting in good performances when I come with England and when I play for Leeds, working hard." 

"It's still early times. I think every time I've come on I’ve done well and shown why I think I should be playing.

"I think tonight was a good statement and a good way for me to put across a performance and, hopefully, I'll be starting in the next run of games.

"I feel like I probably haven't been given the chances I would have liked, I would have liked to play a lot more minutes but I feel like every time I’ve come on I've done well and now I'm still one of the top scorers, if not the top scorer in the team, with such limited time so I don't think I could do much more than that."

If Nketiah’s latest exploits do not convince Bielsa then Arsenal may have to consider recalling the player in January. 

Not everyone getting Nketiah treatment

Nketiah is not the only Arsenal player out on loan this season. Ben Sheaf, who has two first-team appearances at the club, is spending the season at Doncaster Rovers and Arsenal will have no issues with the game time he has received. 

Out of the 14 fixtures that Doncaster have played, Sheaf has featured in 10 of them – with nine of them starts. Playing in a deep midfield role, he has produced two assists so far this season and is a mainstay in the team.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan sealed his move away to AS Roma on the final day of the European transfer window. The Armenian grew stale at Arsenal and struggled to impose himself and a move away looks to have unleashed a new lease of life.

He got off to the perfect start with a debut goal in a 4-2 win over Sassuolo and followed that up with the match-winning assist in the narrow victory over Lecce

Currently the 30-year-old is nursing a muscle injury but will be pleased with his start to life in Italy. 

Mohamed Elneny also secured a temporary move on the final day and joined up with Turkish outfit Beşiktaş

The Egypt international failed to force his way into Unai Emery’s plan last season and moved away to try and re-ignite his career but he didn’t give his new fans the best first impression as he was sent off on his debut, a 4-2 loss to Gazişehir Gaziantep

He has missed out on the following three league fixtures but has played in both of their UEFA Europa League matches – defeats to Slovan Bratislava and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The good thing for Elneny is that having served his suspension, he will be in contention for this weekend’s fixture against Ankaragücü.

Fans may not have been watching Elneny and Mkhitaryan closely as their Arsenal careers are coming to a close but Saint-Étienne have had an influx of interest following the summer signing of William Saliba

The defender was loaned straight back to ASSE after securing his move to the Emirates Stadium but an exciting season was delayed for the young Frenchman due to injury. 

He missed the first eight games of the season and was indeed sorely missed with the club suffering four defeats in that run. Saliba made his comeback in a cameo against Nïmes before starring in a 1-0 derby win over Olympique Lyonnais. He also helped the French club to a 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg in the Europa League. 

Now he has returned to action, he should feature prominently and Arsenal fans will no doubt be watching Saint-Étienne closely to see how he gets on. 

Also on the continent, young full-back Jordi Osei-Tutu is on loan at Bochum of the 2. Bundesliga. This is his first experience of senior football and he made a strong start. Deployed between RB, RWB and RW, Osei-Tutu started the season as first-choice and even found the net as they came from 3-0 down to secure a sensational 3-3 draw with Wehen Wiesbaden

More recently, he has been spending time on the bench and he will be another player that Knapper will be watching closely to ensure he doesn’t waste a season of his career. 

The other player that has been spending time away from North London is goalkeeper Dejan Iliev. The 24-year-old has been at Arsenal since 2012 but has yet to make his first-team debut and with Matt Macey established as the club’s third-choice goalkeeper behind Bernd Leno and Emiliano Martínez, Iliev opted to leave on loan rather than another year of academy fixtures.

He is incredibly inexperienced for a player of 24, and his debut for SKF Sered against Spartak Trnava on July 21 was his first taste of senior football. Although that game ended in a 2-0 defeat, he has remained first-choice and now has 11 games under his belt.

Originally, Arsenal did have eight players out on loan with 18-year-old Irish defender Daniel Ballard at Swindon Town

A clean sheet against Scunthorpe United and a goal in a 3-2 loss to Chelsea U23 in the Leasing.com Trophy ensured a solid start to his season but a serious knee injury has cruelly ended his time there and he is back at Arsenal for his recovery.

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