Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford’s latest injury is something of a “mystery”…
That’s according to reliable LeedsLive reporter Beren Cross, who provided supporters with a fresh update on the striker’s situation during a recent Q&A.
“Bamford remains something of a mystery after [Marcelo] Bielsa’s doubtful comments on the striker being back for the Villa game.”
The 28-year-old talisman has missed 17 of their last 18 league matches with a string of problems and it doesn’t seem likely of making a return against Aston Villa in the Premier League next week.
Before the break, the Whites boss expressed his doubts over Bamford featuring down at Villa Park on Wednesday.
“I have my doubts. I’m not sure,” he said (via BirminghamLive). It’s not just about being able to count on him, it’s that he arrives in conditions to develop his game.
“A player who’s gone so long without playing, it opens up a question mark, after he is healthy, [about] how long he needs to show his regularity.”
This will come as a huge cause for concern for many around west Yorkshire as Leeds have really missed his presence in the final third, having finished last season as their top goalscorer on 17 goals.
To make matters worse, Raphinha – who has scored more than anyone in his absence this term – limped off during Brazil’s win over Paraguay late on Tuesday night after opening the scoring.
In the six appearances that Bamford has made in the Premier League this term, he’s proven to be a big influence, scoring twice and also laying on a further two assists but he has played only 22 minutes since mid-September.
The Yorkshire giants are in a fairly comfortable position, sitting seven points clear of the relegation zone, but things can quickly change in this division and many of the sides below them hold games in hand.
Only six teams have scored fewer goals than Leeds this season, four of which are below them in the table. A worrying trend as they rank inside the top five for shots per game (14). That suggests they cannot convert their chances and that’ll be no surprise as they do not have a senior striker fit to slot them home.
The likes of Daniel James, Tyler Roberts and Jack Harrison have all been deployed up front in his absence, to not much success, especially the former two.
So the absence of the man who Liverpool’s title-winning head coach Jurgen Klopp once dubbed an “exceptional player” is certainly a big blow for United heading into their return to action.
Cross’ claim only adds further doubt on whether we will see Bamford back on the pitch anytime soon and that surely will leave many supporters fuming heading into a vital run of games.