Patrick Bamford has often been a figure of ridicule amongst the Leeds fanbase, but now it’s experts who have been contributing to the criticism of the striker.
David Prutton’s most recent column for the Yorkshire Evening Post called for Bamford to improve on last season, but surely this is an unfair comment.
Indeed, Prutton wrote, “Leeds want the Bamford that scored a bagful of goals for Middlesbrough several seasons ago, not the one that has floated around from club to club in recent years.”
This trend of jumping on Bamford’s back has to stop. Fair enough, he cost Leeds £10m, and he only scored nine times last season, but a more in-depth look at his scoring record reveals that he isn’t that bad at all.
Yes, he failed to hit double figures last season, but that was largely down to his campaign being hampered by injuries. He only played 1450 minutes last term, meaning that he scored around every 161 minutes for the Whites in 2018/19. If he played the full 90 in every match last season, he would have scored 25 goals if he continued at that rate.
That would have seen him be the third top scorer in the entire division, just behind Teemu Pukki and Tammy Abraham.
It’s unfair to criticise Bamford for his performances last term when he scored at a rate any striker would be happy with.
Prutton is wrong on this occasion, Leeds shouldn’t want Bamford to play like he did at Middlesbrough, they should want him to perform exactly as he did last season, but they should be praying that he can stay fit this time around.