Reporting in the Athletic, Phil Hay has confirmed that Marcelo Bielsa intends to keep Patrick Bamford at the club for next season and give him a chance in the Premier League, provided that they get promoted.
A forward that the Argentine clearly loves, what Bamford lacks in goals he makes up for effort and link-up play.
But, in the Premier League, will that be enough? Our Football League World writers discuss the merits of Bielsa’s call…
I think this is the right call from Bielsa.
Bamford’s work often goes unnoticed in this Leeds team, but he often starts their attacks by pressing the opposition’s defensive line.
Admittedly, his goal record hasn’t quite been good enough so far this season for Leeds, but luckily, other members of Bielsa’s squad have chipped in with notable contributions in front of goal.
Bamford still has age on his side, and is certainly worth a shot in the Premier League given his work rate.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s eventually replaced in the Leeds starting XI though, especially if someone like Jean-Kevin Augustin can hit the ground running when he returns to competitive action in the near future.
You have to trust Bielsa’s judgement with Bamford though, as he’s a manager that has completely transformed Leeds from top to bottom, as they edge closer to a long-awaited return to the Premier League.
Absolutely the right call, Bamford is an integral part of the Leeds set-up and binning him off after such an impressive season would send out the wrong message.
If Leeds are promoted, they might need a better option to be leading the line on a weekly basis, but you might also find that it brings out the best in Bamford, who often stands up well to a little bit of competition.
It’s hard to knock Bielsa’s judgement when you look at his Leeds record, so whatever decision is taken on Bamford needs backing.
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It makes sense.
It’s evident that Bielsa is a massive fan of Bamford, with him virtually selecting him in every Leeds United game this season.
The striker offers a lot more than just scoring goals, with his work-rate and ability to bring other people into play some of his standout attributes.
Whether Bamford has the ability to start week in, week out in the Premier League with Leeds (assuming they get promoted) is another question, especially after his relatively disappointing stint at Norwich City in the top-flight.
Of course, these are different circumstances though and Bamford is playing under a manager that clearly loves him and wants to get the best out of him, so with that in mind it could work, and ultimately keeping hold of Bamford might not be the worst idea at all.
Though, I’d be surprised if Bamford was still utilised as the Whites’ main striker next term if promoted.