While comparing Nketiah to Patrick Bamford, who appeared unhappy after being replaced in the 70th minute, Bielsa said: “Eddie has different characteristics, and in a match like that he is a good option.
“Some players are involved (in play) a lot before creating chances. Nketiah is more involved at the end of the action but he has good characteristics to combine with his team-mates to give us these options.
“He is a striker who can score goals. For me, he is a complete player.”
Nketiah is yet to start a Championship game with Bamford leading the line for Leeds.
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Bamford has netted four league goals so far this season, but was denied three times by Barnsley goalkeeper Brad Collins.
Bielsa added: “He puts in a lot of effort to be in a good condition to score, and he had a lot of chances in this game.
“I tried to explain to him that he deserved a goal. He is a great centre-forward.”
Arsenal duo Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson helped England’s Under-21 side get their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign off to a winning start after beating Turkey 3-2 in Izmit.
Following their premature exit in the group stages of the European Championships in the summer, Aidy Boothroyd had a new look side going into the game.
Just six members of the squad for this month’s qualifiers have previously played for the Young Lions – Nketiah one of them.
The striker put England ahead and, although Turkey turned the game around, Nketiah and Reiss Nelson struck in quick succession to secure the win.
In the build up to the match Boothroyd was bullish about the job he has done bringing players through and said he was relishing the next two years with a new squad, and there were signs why that would be the case.
England started well and went ahead after just four minutes following a good move involving Steven Sessegnon and Phil Foden down the left side of the penalty area.
Foden’s low cross was missed by two Turkish defenders allowing Nketiah, who is spending the season on loan at Leeds United, to stab the ball home from seven yards out.
Nelson had an even clearer opportunity to score in the first half but the teams went into the interval level after Dogukan Sinik raced clear and scored after 25 minutes.
England made a sluggish start to the second half and they paid the price six minutes after the restart. A well-worked corner saw Mert Muldur get away from his marker and his free run to the near post saw him flick the ball past Aaron Ramsdale.
Now behind, Boothroyd’s side were struggling defensively and getting turned around in midfield too easily as Turkey sensed they might be able to put the game beyond England.
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However, two goals in as many minutes turned the match on its head.
Foden was the architect again, darting goalwards before threading a lovely pass to Nketiah just inside the penalty area and the Arsenal forward, on loan at Leeds, provided a tidy finish.
Immediately afterwards, Nelson netted what proved to be the winning goal with a low shot that may have taken a deflection off a Turkish defender.
The hosts had a goal ruled out for offside as they searched for an equaliser but England held on for the victory to justify Boothroyd’s pre-match optimism.
Another Premier League season is on the verge of kicking off once again as Manchester City bid for a third straight title.
The Citizens pipped Liverpool to the crown in 2018/19 season while Huddersfield, Fulham and Cardiff were relegated.
The 28th edition of the Premier League will produce all sorts of drama for all 20 teams.
But which Premier League youngsters should fans keep an eye on in the 2019/20 campaign?
talkSPORT.com has identified ten wonderkids who are set for a breakthrough season.
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The boy wonder at Old Trafford has a phenomenal goalscoring record in youth football and many feel it’s time for him to make the step up.
The 17-year-old netted 26 goals in 30 appearances last season across various youth and senior competitions for Manchester United and, following a fine pre-season with goals against Leeds United and Juventus, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted he could start the league opener against Chelsea.
Solskjaer said: “He [Greenwood] has a chance to start against Chelsea. I won’t say it is not a possibility. It is a good possibility if he keeps going as he does.”
Another man who has made his case for a starting place in that opening fixture at Old Trafford is Chelsea starlet Mount.
The attacking midfielder conveniently spent last season on loan at Derby, where new Blues boss Frank Lampard was in charge.
His impressive performances earned him an England call-up and he played a pivotal role during Derby’s run to the Play-Off final.
The 20-year-old has scored three goals in pre-season, but he faces stiff competition for the No.10 spot, with fellow Englishman Ross Barkley also impressing ahead of the new campaign.
There was thought to be a limit to Arsenal’s budget in the transfer market this summer and it allowed their young players to try and make an impact in pre-season.
One player who has given a good account of himself is forward Nketiah, who has even chipped in with a couple of goals in pre-season, including a winner against Bayern Munich.
However, the 20-year-old will have to work his socks off in order to get into the starting XI when the competitive football starts as strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are well-established at the club, and now Nicolas Pepe has arrived at the Emirates.
He made a handful of appearances in Tottenham’s first-team last season and this term is the perfect opportunity for him to kick on.
Midfielder Skipp has had a decent pre-season for Spurs, having featured in their matches against Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.
There may be opportunities for the 18-year-old next season particularly in the Carabao and FA Cup.
The goalkeeper is a Manchester United player, however, he will be playing for newly-promoted Sheffield United after signing a season-long loan deal.
Henderson, 22, excelled last season on loan at Bramall Lane as the Blades finished second in the Championship and he’s viewed highly by Red Devils boss Solskjaer.
Solskjaer said: “We have great faith in Dean’s ability, he has huge potential and his spirit and passion will stand him in good stead this year.”
Given Sheffield United will be up against it in some matches this season, Henderson will have opportunities to showcase his talents.
It was almost a stretch to put Gibbs-White in this list as you could argue he had a breakthrough season last term.
He made 26 appearances in the Premier League for Wolves in 2018/19 but just five were starts, so perhaps there’s an opportunity for him to increase his role and improve his chances of developing into one of the top midfielders in the division.
Gibbs-White was part of the England squad who won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 and there are high hopes for him.
Wolves are in the Europa League too so there is further opportunity for him to add to his CV.
The 19-year-old should look to build on that form this season and become a player central to City’s success.
And with club legend David Silva set to leave at the end of the campaign, Foden seems the natural man to fill his boots.
The striker has been at Chelsea since he was a boy and is still only 21 but this is his big opportunity to shine at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have been on a transfer ban and only Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi are higher than Abraham in the pecking order right now.
Abraham, who performed well on loan at Aston Villa in the Championship last season, has had good moments during pre-season including a goal during a win against Barcelona.
Another Arsenal youngster who will be looking to make an impact is midfielder Willock, 19.
He has a few appearances in the Europa League under his belt, including an impressive cameo in last season’s final, but the starlet will feel this season is a great opportunity to properly break into the senior squad.
Liverpool is currently one of the best places to learn your trade as a young footballer and this season could be a big one for Brewster, 19.
It is understood the striker will be given chances to feature in the first-team and is a good back-up in case any of the Reds’ famous trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane become unavailable.
Brewster made a decent start to Liverpool’s pre-season tour, scoring four goals in three matches which suggests he’s ready to showcase his talents.
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In January, Augsburg were close to agreeing a deal to sign the forward but Gunners chiefs eventually opted against the move and were instead keen on Nketiah continuing to work with the first-team.
Despite his impressive performances on the tour of the United States, there is a still a possibility he could be loaned out this summer.
Asked about a possible loan move, Nketiah said: “There was talk of that and it was close to happening in January but the club decided that I should stay and I tried to finish the season as strongly as possible.
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“We’ll see what happens in the future but I’m just enjoying the tour and in the future decisions will be made.
Nketiah, who has one Premier League goal to his name in eight appearances, is determined to breakthrough to the first-team in the upcoming campaign.
“I need to keep pushing, keep working and as for the season I want to be playing regularly,” he continued.
“After the pre-season tour, it’s something that I’ll look at with my family and speak to the manager and see what’s best for me.
“I feel like I have a great relationship with the fans. It’s nice that they notice that and sing my name. That’s a dream come true. Even out here the fans are screaming my name.
“They travel all around the world to see us play and support us. I always try to give them something back and I’m so grateful that they have taken to me like that as one of the boys from the academy and I hope it can continue.”
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Arsenal – Eddie Nketiah
Nketiah burst on to the scene after scoring twice in a Carabao Cup win over Norwich last season. But after making just nine appearances, and only starting three times, the 19-year-old needs to play regular first-team football.
He is unlikely to begrudge Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette from the starting XI, so a loan move could do him the world of good.
The 20-year-old is yet to play first-team football on a regular basis in a whole season, but the 2019/20 campaign could be his year if he is loaned out.
Bournemouth – Mark Travers
Travers started Bournemouth’s final two Premier League games of the season after Eddie Howe lost faith with error-prone goalkeepers Asmir Begovic and Artur Boruc.
With the Cherries reportedly set to make a £15million bid for Burnley’s Nick Pope, Travers could be loaned out to gain experience in England’s lower tiers.
Brighton – Christian Walton
Walton helped Wigan preserve their Championship status in their 2018/19 campaign, playing in 34 league games.
Mat Ryan has established himself as Brighton’s No.1 goalkeeper, and Walton will not want to return to the Amex Stadium to sit on the bench. A third loan move to the Latics seems sensible.
Burnley – Ben Gibson
Gibson was one of the most sought-after defenders in the Championship last summer.
Burnley won the race for his signature by paying Middlesbrough a whopping £15million. That amount seems like a huge waste of money as the 26-year-old made just ONE Premier League appearance all season.
His last outing for the club came in a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup in January.
Chelsea – Ethan Ampadu
Who Chelsea loan out will depend on the club’s impending transfer ban and Ampadu is a player who could benefit from a temporary move from Stamford Bridge.
The Wales international is highly-rated by Blues chiefs, but started just three games in the 2018/19 season. At 18-years-old he is already a Wales international with a big future ahead of him.
Crystal Palace – Connor Wickham
Wickham has been plagued by injury since moving to Palace in 2015 and after making his return from a serious knee injury against Everton last October, he went on to make just seven more appearances.
The 26-year-old signed a new two-year deal with the Eagles on Tuesday, but that might not rule him out of making a loan exit this summer.
Everton – Ademola Lookman
Lookman has been restricted to a substitute’s role under Marco Silva, starting just three Premier League games.
He thrived in a loan spell with RB Leipzig, scoring five goals and registering five assists last season. And other clubs could back the 21-year-old to replicate that form with them.
Leicester – Matty James
James has been tormented by an ankle injury for over a year. His only appearance during the 2018/19 season came in a shock 2-1 defeat to Newport County in the FA Cup in January.
He has returned to fitness in recent weeks, but is yet to feature under Brendan Rodgers. A fresh start elsewhere could reignite his career.
Even though he started games against Tottenham and Leicester in the title run-in, the 18-year-old failed to make the matchday squad for City’s FA Cup final win over Watford on Saturday.
He has bags of potential, which another club could hugely use.
Manchester United – Angel Gomes
Gomes made just two brief cameo appearances in United’s underwhelming season. He is said to be frustrated by his lack of game-time and could look elsewhere for temporary solutions.
The 18-year-old is one of United’s star academy players. With a host of attacking players ahead of him, it doesn’t look like Gomes’ playing time is going to improve next season at Old Trafford.
Newcastle – Joselu
Joselu started just five Premier League games in the 2018/19 season due to the form of Salomon Rondon.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez, whose own future is also uncertain, could get the striker’s wages off the books to free up funds for another forward.
A move back to Spain or Germany could suit Joselu.
Norwich – James Husband
Husband spent the 2018/19 season on loan with Fleetwood in League One and is unlikely to take part in the club’s Premier League journey. With a year left on his current, he could be loaned out again.
Sheffield United – Leon Clarke
With Sheffield United reportedly trying to sign Swansea striker Oli McBurnie, Clarke’s days appear to be numbered at Bramall Lane.
He was loaned out to Wigan for the second half of the 2018/19 campaign and helped them avoid relegation. Second tier clubs could find his experience invaluable next season.
Southampton – Fraser Forster
Forster has made just one Southampton appearance since December 2017. He is the club’s third-choice goalkeeper behind Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn.
The 31-year-old’s contract does not run out for another three years, but he needs to get back to playing regularly.
Tottenham – Vincent Janssen
With Fernando Llorente likely to leave this summer, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is bound to be in the market for a striker to provide cover for Harry Kane.
Janssen was frozen out by Pochettino before making three substitute appearances towards the end of the season. Despite his brief comeback, the Dutch striker will need to look elsewhere if he wants to play regular football.
Watford – Nathaniel Chalobah
Chalobah fractured his knee cap at the start of the 2017/18 season and made a return to action against Reading last August. However, he has been restricted to just 13 appearances since, failing to dislodge Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure in midfield.
A newly-promoted Premier League club could take a punt on him.
West Ham – Grady Diangana
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini showed faith in Diangana during the 2018/19 campaign, handing him six Premier League starts in a breakthrough season. But he could face more difficulty competing against Mark Noble, Declan Rice, a fit-again Jack Wilshere and any other new potential arrivals in midfield.
He would not be short of suitors from Championship clubs.
Wolves – Morgan Gibbs-White
With Euro 2020 happening next summer, Gibbs-White will want to play regularly to attempt to break into Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
The Three Lions boss is renowned for giving youngsters a chance on the international stage – and Gibbs-White could be the country’s next breakout star.
Another youngster who is no stranger to the Gunners’ first team is Joe Willock.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder started against Burnley on the final day of the Premier League season, his 16th senior appearance, and looks another dead cert to feature on the bench against Chelsea on 29 May.
He boasts six league goals and two assists for the Gunners’ Under-23 team this season.
It would be no surprise to see 17-year-old wonderkid Buyako Saka among the substitutes.
The winger appeared once for the Gunners in the Premier League this season, at Fulham, and is widely considered the next big thing at the Emirates.
He has been a staple for Freddie Ljungberg’s Under-23 side, scoring five goals and eight assists in 20 Premier League 2 appearances.