Stuart Pearce suggested on commentary during BT Sport’s live coverage of England’s latest under-21 win (broadcast on 15/10 from 19:30) that Arsenal and Leeds United man Eddie Nketiah shares one particularly impressive trait with Liverpool star Mo Salah.
Nketiah has endured a somewhat frustrating start to life at Elland Road. He is yet to start a Championship game this season despite boasting an incredibly good strike-rate.
The 20-year-old has scored four goals in all competitions. He has been unlucky with Patrick Bamford producing a couple of outstanding performances just at the point in which Nketiah looked to be on the cusp of getting his chance.
He therefore, had a real point to prove heading into the international break. The striker bagged one goal in the 2-2 draw with Slovenia last week. And during Tuesday’s clash with Austria, Pearce drew comparisons between Nketiah’s style of play and Liverpool’s £34 million star (fee reported by BBC Sport).
“I think if I was a striker in this day and age, a young English striker, I’d just copy Mo Salah in his movement, running in behind,” he said during commentary for BT Sport.
“Nketiah’s certainly got that trait about him. The ones that run in behind are the ones that score goals in the modern game. ”
Nketiah certainly proved a point during the game against Austria. He scored a hat-trick in the emphatic win, and looked incredibly dangerous whenever he got onto the ball.
And the variety of the three goals will also help his cause when he returns to Leeds. His first saw the youngster get the slightest touch after the ball was headed into the six-yard box. Nketiah produced a brilliant turn to help the ball on its way.
He then guided a fantastic header into the far corner for his second of the night, and his third of the break. The hat-trick was completed with a composed finish as the ball was drilled across the six-yard box. He did miss a penalty late on, but only after a superb save.
It looks fair to say that Nketiah could have hardly done more to send a message to the Leeds boss while he has been away.