That’s according to former Leeds United and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who claimed in a recent interview with MOT Leeds News that Patrick Bamford’s three-goal haul in the U21’s 6-2 victory over Southampton last Friday – the first fixture the centre-forward has started since August 13 – will come as a huge boost to Jesse Marsch ahead of the visit of Villa next month.
Regarding the potential return of the 29-year-old to the Whites’ starting XI, Robinson said: “Even if it’s the U21s, it’s nice to see him hitting the back of the net again. Yes, it’s obviously nowhere near the level of a Premier League game.
“But the fact he’s playing, the fact he’s fit and the fact he’s scoring goals is a huge boost for Leeds fans. With the way they played against Brentford, they need him, Luke Ayling and Liam Cooper back. The fact Bamford is playing and scoring goals again means his arrival is imminent.”
As Robinson suggests, considering how poor Leeds were in the humbling 5-2 defeat to Brentford in their last Premier League outing, coupled with just how impressive Bamford can be when fully fit and firing in the Whites’ attack, the fact that the striker does look to be closing in on a return to full fitness is undoubtedly great news for Jesse Marsch and everyone associated with the club ahead of the Villa match.
Indeed, with the Whites’ top goalscorer this season, Rodrigo, missing from Marsch’s squad for the fixture at the Gtech Community Stadium as a result of a shoulder injury, Leeds struggled to make their opportunities count, as, despite creating four big chances and taking a total of 17 shots at the Bees’ goal, the American’s side managed to hit the back of the net just twice.
As such, it was evident that Marsch was desperately lacking an experienced goalscorer in west London, something that Bamford’s availability from the start of the match would undoubtedly have solved for the 48-year-old manager.
Indeed, over his 38 Premier League appearances back in 2020/21, the £12.6m-rated forward was in sensational form in the final third, scoring 17 goals, registering seven assists and creating five big chances, with these returns seeing the 29-year-old average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.01.
As such, considering how deadly Bamford looked in the U21’s demolition of Saints last week, it would appear as if the forward could well be nearing his 2020/21 form ahead of the visit of Villa on October 2 – something that is undoubtedly great news for Marsch, as a fully fit Bamford will undoubtedly come as a boost to the Whites’ chances of picking up all three points on the day.