Jermaine Beckford has underlined the balance of the Leeds United side as to why Marcelo Bielsa might be avoiding playing Patrick Bamford and Eddie Nketiah in the same line-up.
Leeds have started the season with four wins, one draw and a single defeat, with Bamford amongst the goals, netting four and adding one assist.
Nketiah has three goals to his name, with two coming in the League Cup. In addition to that, the Arsenal loanee has a brace for the England under-21s in the last week.
That, expectedly, has led to calls for Nketiah to start on the back of Leeds’ defeat to Swansea before the international break, which was a topic of discussion when we caught up with ex-Leeds striker Beckford this week.
“I’m a striker and I like seeing lots of strikers on the pitch because the more strikers that are on the pitch, the more goals you’re likely to score,” Beckford told Football League World in an exclusive interview with Chief Editor, Sam Rourke.
“However, by having more forwards in the team, you do have to give some leeway somewhere else. One of the reasons I think Leeds have been so successful since the boss (Marcelo Bielsa) has taken over is because he’s got the right formula, the right players in the right positions.
“If you take one of those other players out of their positions and play the two boys up-front, it might not work and it might not have as effective as it is at the moment.”
Bamford and Nketiah have differing styles; Bamford links play extremely well and is known for his intelligent football. Nketiah is raw and learning his trade at 20. All his goals have been that of a ‘poacher’ for Leeds.
Beckford, who is amongst an elite group of Leeds strikers to score 30+ goals in a season, likes traits both hold.
“I think Patrick offers so, so much,” Beckford continued. “He’s such an intelligent player.
“Eddie is brilliant as well. He’s lethal. His positioning is fantastic and I absolutely love watching him – his finishing is also good.
“I think Eddie is in a little bit of a difficult position. He’s definitely going to get his chance to play week in, week out, I think the boss just wants to feel him out a little bit more and make sure he is in tune with everything.
“He’s very close (to a start), but because Patrick has been doing as well as he has been doing, it’s very difficult to drop someone like that.”