Speaking in his pre-match press conference (via Leeds Live), Jesse Marsch revealed that, despite earlier hopes that Patrick Bamford could have been included in the Whites’ squad for the 3-1 Carabao Cup victory over Barnsley on Wednesday, the 28-year-old is once again a doubt for the trip to the south coast on Saturday.
Speaking about the current condition of the England international, the Leeds manager said: “The big question mark is Patrick Bamford. We think he’s doing well and moving forward.
“I think also with the performances of the team, it allows us to be patient but we will still have a call to make for exactly what it means for this weekend. But we want to put him in the best position possible to physically be ready to pick up where he left off.”
It is true that Leeds have not exactly struggled for goals in the absence of Bamford so far this season, having bagged three against both Chelsea and Barnsley in their last two games. However, it is nevertheless undeniable that the centre-forward once again being unavailable for a fixture as challenging as Brighton – who currently sit in fifth, just behind Leeds – will come as a big blow to Marsch.
Indeed, the long-term effects of the Whites being without Bamford’s services up front are clear to see from the club’s return of goals last term, when the England international managed only seven starts in the league as a result of numerous knocks and Marsch’s team found the net just 42 times – the joint fifth-worst record in the league.
For comparison, when the £14.4m-rated striker featured in every game of Leeds’ 2020/21 Premier League campaign, the Whites scored 62 goals in the league – more than both Chelsea and Arsenal – while Bamford netted on no fewer than 17 occasions, ranking him as the division’s joint fourth-highest scorer.
As such, it is evident that Leeds are a much more fluent attacking outfit with the 28-year-old leading the line.
That leads us to believe that the Englishman’s continued absence for the trip to Brighton on Saturday will do nothing to help the Whites’ chances of returning to Yorkshire with all three points in tow – something which would represent a gutting outcome for supporters and Marsch alike.