Patrick Bamford is set for a key role at Leeds United next season in the Premier League despite question marks surrounding his efficiency in-front of goal.
Leeds have relied on Bamford to lead the line for them in the title-winning season of 2019/20, with the 26-year-old returning 16 goals and two assists.
However, it could have been so much more given the chances that Marcelo Bielsa’s side created for Bamford and, ahead of a return to the Premier League, there’s big pressure on Leeds to be more clinical.
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Yet, according to Phil Hay at The Athletic, there is going to be a big role for Bamford in the Premier League with Bielsa prepared to ‘rely heavily’ on the striker.
Whilst Bamford will get his chance, there is big pressure on Leeds’ conversion rate in the top-flight, which Hay went on to explain further.
He continued: “According to analysis by Opta, Leeds’ expected goals (xG) was 89. They finished with 77 in 46 league games. And Bielsa knows chances will not be so plentiful up in the Premier League.”
Bamford led the line for Leeds as they tested the waters against Premier League opposition back in January, but the Whites were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a game where a lack of cutting edge let them down.
Bamford deserves his chance in the Premier League, he’s played a big part getting Leeds there and Bielsa gives him his full backing.
He might not be as clinical as Aleksandar Mitrovic or Ollie Watkins, but he works so hard for the team and, as I’ve said all season, his 16 goals would have looked a lot better if the midfielders behind him were pulling their weight.
Ultimately, they did and during the run-in Leeds were prolific.
Bamford and Leeds need to hit the ground running in the Premier League and there is, naturally, the need for another striker. However, not one person can deny that Bamford deserves a chance to prove his doubters wrong.
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