In a recent report for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Joe Donnohue revealed that, despite Patrick Bamford having done the right thing when informing the bench he wished to be substituted due to a knock sustained in the first half of the Whites’ 2-2 draw with Southampton last weekend, the visit of Chelsea this weekend may come too soon for the centre-forward’s return to action.
Speaking about the 28-year-old’s current condition, Jesse Marsch said: “What I’m most pleased with is that he was honest with us and made the decision that it just wasn’t right. It’s just the reality and again, listen, we’ve even tried in the week to modify his [Bamford’s] loading and he’s been feeling great.
“But it’s obvious that when you’re out for so long that there’s going to be little things that pop up and so again maybe we could have made the decision not to play him [against Southampton] but he felt good. We have to manage him appropriately.”
With Victor Orta having yet to add a new centre-forward to Marsch’s attacking arsenal in the summer transfer window, coupled with 20-year-old Joe Gelhardt also struggling for fitness so far this season, the news that the Chelsea fixture could come too soon for Bamford to make a return to first-team football is sure to have come as a gutting blow for the American manager.
Indeed, although support striker Rodrigo has started the 2022/23 campaign in fine goalscoring form – bagging three goals over his two Premier League appearances thus far – it is nevertheless clear to see that the Whites are still heavily reliant on the goals of the England international.
This is evidenced by the club’s return of goals during the striker’s absence due to a series of injuries last season, with the Whites managing to hit the back of the net just 42 times in the Premier League last time out – with Bamford scoring two over his nine top-flight fixtures – while, in the campaign prior, Leeds scored a much more impressive 62 goals in the league – with the 28-year-old bagging 17 over his 38 Premier League outings.
As such, should the former Chelsea forward indeed be ruled out against his former club this weekend, it would not appear to bode well for the Whites’ chances of outscoring their seventh-placed opponents – something that is sure to come as a big blow to Marsch.