After thrashing Burnley last time out in the Premier League, Leeds United will be desperate to pick up where they left off when they take on Southampton on Tuesday night.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side ran riot at Turf Moor, beating the Clarets 4-0 thanks to goals from Mateusz Klich, Jack Harrison and a brace from summer signing Rodrigo.
However, one man who struggled over the course of the game, unlike his teammates, was Patrick Bamford.
The striker netted in the 3-1 victory over Spurs recently but that was his only goal in his last seven Premier League games, and he just seems to have gone off the boil in recent weeks.
His display at Brighton earlier this month was a case in point, with Bamford unable to get himself involved in the game, with Bielsa eventually deciding to replace him with Rodrigo before the hour mark. His tallies of 15 touches and 12 successful passes were the lowest among Leeds’ starting XI at the Amex Stadium.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for Leeds Live that day, Beren Cross gave him a 4/10, adding: “Barely had a kick. As he was in the first game, he was swamped by the three centre-backs. The latest in a long line of frustrating matches for the striker with any Golden Boot hopes long gone.”
That anonymous showing was replicated again at the weekend, with the £16.2m-rated man struggling massively to get himself involved, with Burnley’s two centre-backs snuffling him with ease.
As per Sofascore, he had just nine touches of the ball in the entire time that he was on the pitch, making only five successful passes, which unsurprisingly was by far the lowest of any starter. He also had one shot on goal, provided no key passes and – perhaps most tellingly – lost all four of his duels, with Burnley physically overpowering him time and again.
Cross gave him a five in his player ratings, adding: “Difficult afternoon for the striker, who would have craved the space which opened up later in the second half. James Tarkwoski and Ben Mee had him pocketed and isolated.”
After eventually being hooked in the 58th minute, Bamford has now been taken off just before the hour mark in two of his last three Premier League games; and with the season now winding down, it’s surely time for Bielsa to make the ruthless call and drop him from the starting line-up.
With Rodrigo netting two goals on Saturday, and Joe Gelhardt also waiting in the wings, it’s time for Bamford to make way after some shocking performances of late.