Eddie Nketiah says his hat-trick for England Under-21s shows he deserves to be starting for Leeds.
The Arsenal striker bagged a treble in the Young Lions’ 5-1 romp over Austria at Stadium MK on Tuesday to take his tally to six goals in four games for his country this season.
It is with Aidy Boothroyd’s side where he is getting most of his minutes this term as – on a season-long loan from the Gunners – he is yet to make a Championship start for Leeds.
He has scored two goals in seven appearances off the bench, with another two in starts in the Carabao Cup, but he can still not get a look-in in Marcelo Bielsa’s league team.
He is convinced he is worthy of a place in the starting XI and says his hat-trick for the Young Lions is a statement.
The 20-year-old 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.
“I went there to play matches and to develop so hopefully in the coming weeks I’ll get the opportunities to show why I can be in the team week in, week out.
“It’s been disappointing for me not to start in the league, I went there to play games and get games.
“It’s still early times. I think every time I’ve come on a 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.”
Having scored 10 goals in 13 games, there is no doubt Nketiah knows where the goal is, but his all-round game is still raw. And he believes he will learn more by regular action.
“I’m always learning and when I come away here or back at Leeds, it’s a new environment, I feel like I am learning a lot,” he added.
“I think I’ll learn even more by playing, times like this is good for me to come away and get game time here.
“I’m looking to push on. I went there to play and I think I believe I’m good enough to be playing in the team. I want to kick on when I get back and hopefully get a run of games.”