With ten goals in 19 Premier League games this season, it’s fair to say Patrick Bamford has proven that he can lead the line for Leeds United at the highest level.
There were big question marks over whether the former Chelsea starlet could do the business in the top-flight, especially given how wasteful he was at Championship level – last season saw him miss a staggering 33 official big chances, which was almost double the man in second, Lewis Grabban (18).
But whilst Bamford has done well thus far, his anonymous display against Newcastle United on Tuesday night proved why Marcelo Bielsa’s side desperately need to dip into the transfer market in these final few days to bring in a new centre-forward who can provide them with another option or just add some extra competition.
Bamford struggled massively to get involved in the game against the Magpies, managing just 22 touches of the ball and completing only 13 accurate passes, both of which were the lowest of any starter on the pitch for Leeds, even less than goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
In their post-match player ratings, Leeds Live gave him a measly 5, saying: “Frustration showed with the lack of service coming into him when Leeds were in the box throughout the first half. Drifted out of the game entirely in the second half save for the dallying which gave Newcastle the chance to score.”
With reports linking Leeds with a move for the likes of Fiorentina striker Christian Kouame in this January transfer window, Bamford’s performance at St James’ Park would have left Victor Orta in no doubt about what must be done.
The Whites don’t necessarily need to bring in a new starting number nine, but the fact that Bielsa resorted to bringing on Tyler Roberts – a player whose long-term future at Elland Road remains somewhat unclear and has yet to score in the Premier League – says it all about Leeds’ lack of depth in that position.
Just days remain in this January transfer window, and time is running out for Orta to strike and solve a key Bielsa concern.