The subject of Patrick Bamford at Leeds is an interesting one indeed. Whilst he is undoubtedly Marcelo Bielsa’s biggest threat in front of goal right now, he hasn’t always been a popular figure among the Elland Road faithful.
Carlton Palmer spoke to Football FanCast about the curious situation in Yorkshire, admitting that whilst Bamford does indeed deliver the goods, it’s “interesting” that the boss opts to always make him the focal point of attack.
“He gets a lot of stick,” the former Leeds man said. “It’s amazing how many people talk about his misses and not talk about what he’s actually doing.”
Indeed, Bamford is currently the second highest scorer in the Premier League this season, with the same amount of goals as Harry Kane. He is behind only joint-leading scorers Son Heung-min, Jamie Vardy, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mohamed Salah (via BBC Sport). However, this is only one half of the story.
Fans have been frustrated over the 27-year-old’s tenancy to miss glaring opportunities which have often punished the Whites. As highlighted by eflanalysis.com, Bamford’s xG is a huge 34.77 and considering he finished with 16 goals last season, it indicates just how wasteful the target man can be in front of goal.
“It’s interesting that Bielsa started with him up front,” Palmer continued. “I think why he started with him is because he has got good quality. But more than that, his work rate is phenomenal.”
Leeds signed Rodrigo in the summer for a club record fee of £26million but he is currently out of action due to self-isolation reasons. Once he returns to the squad, he could may well challenge Bamford for the spotlight as he looks to pick up where he left off against Manchester City.