Noel Whelan has torn into claims from Patrick Bamford that he could be settled at Leeds United for the next five years, with the pundit questioning why the striker is looking so far into the future.
Leeds signed Bamford back in the summer of 2018 for a reported £7m fee, with the striker arriving from Middlesbrough as the man tasked with firing Marcelo Bielsa’s side back to the Premier League.
He notched 10 goals in an injury-hit 2018/19 campaign, but Leeds missed out on promotion back to the Premier League. This season, he’s been Bielsa’s leading man, missing just one fixture and notching 13 goals; a figure that could be more.
Recently, Bamford told the Yorkshire Evening Post how he could see himself in Leeds for a five-year period, with Elland Road the place the well-travelled 26-year-old has settled best.
On the back of that interview, Noel Whelan has questioned those claims, telling Football Insider: “To say five years in a football environment is ridiculous.
“Most people do not stay at a football club these days longer than three.
“I do not think Patrick should look any further than this coming season. Finish this one-off and he has earned the right to start the next one even if we are in the Premier League.
“He knows he needs to improve his goalscoring but his work rate has been exceptional. It has been invaluable.
“If they go up Leeds will be looking to strengthen and he will have to up his game because he is going to have competition.
“Fiver years ahead? You cannot do that. No one knows what is happening next season. One year is long in a football environment.”
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Bamford’s form this season has helped Leeds reach the top of the Championship table, with Bielsa’s side just nine games away from a Premier League return, should the season be concluded.
There’s not much wrong with Bamford planning for the future; he’s travelled so much by the age of just 26, so finding somewhere he likes is never a bad thing.
Additionally, things aren’t all one way here, with Bamford rated highly by Leeds and particularly Marcelo Bielsa.
He might need to step up his efficiency in the Premier League, or compete for his place in the side, but he appears motivated to meet the grade at Elland Road.
For that, he deserves credit.
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