Leeds United have finally signed a striker in Patrick Bamford from Middlesbrough in a deal which is reportedly worth £10m. The striker was finding it tough to get into Middlesbrough lineup as Tony Pulis often went on to use Britt Assombalonga over him last season in the striker’s role.
The Whites have been linked with quite a few strikers as of now and the hardcore fans would have wanted to hear a name like Matej Vydra. However, Bamford is also a decent addition to the squad. This happens to be the fifth signing of the summer for United and maybe we can expect some more signings before the transfer window shuts down.
Full name – Patrick Bamford
Date of birth – 5/9/1993
Born In – Grantham, England
Height – 1.85m (6ft 1in)
Position – Centre Forward
Current Club: Leeds United
National team: England (0 caps/ o goal)
The 24-year-old striker started his career with Nottingham Forest at the age of 8. He kept on impressing at the youth level and got through to the senior team as well. However, he was with the senior squad for just one season, when Premier League heavyweights Chelsea saw his talent and snapped him up in 2012. Since then, it has been a procession of loan spells at various clubs for the striker up until 2017, when Middlesbrough bought him on a permanent basis.
His most impressive spell came with the Teessiders in the 2014-15 campaign when he was on loan. He managed to score 19 goals in all competitions for his side and even went on to win the Championship player of the season award. After an impressive outing at the Riverside, he was snapped up by Premier League outfit Crystal Palace in another loan spell. However, his career has taken a downward trajectory as he has not been able to reach the heights which one expected from him.
Last season, he managed a tally of 11 goals in the Championship and the Whites will be hoping that he will go on to find his goalscoring form of the 2014-15 season.
Bamford can be termed as a complete striker as he seems to have a little bit of everything in his game. The Englishman has a decent pace and is good on the ball. He is physically also adept to hold and shield the ball and his link-up play is also up to the mark. The greatest asset which the player possesses is his intelligence. He often has the knack of finding himself in the right position at the right time. Bamford knows when to make the runs and went to drop in short to come up as an option for his team-mates. The forward is always moving around to make clever runs and to top it all, he is a decent finisher as he often looks calm and composed in front of goal instead of panicking and just smashing the ball in.
The player lacks a bit in the skills department as he doesn’t have the flair to go past his defenders in one on one situations. He is a decent shooter but one doesn’t often see him scoring and shooting from outside the box as he lacks the power to beat the goalkeeper from that range. Consistency is also one of the things which the player can work on.
Where Does He Fit In?
Marcelo Bielsa will be expected to deploy him in his much famous 3-3-1-3 formation and Bamford will be expected to lead the line in a central role. He can play out on the wings but his talent will be wasted out wide. There is also a chance of him playing in the hole i.e the role of the much famous ‘Enganche’. Bamford’s strength are his movement and link up play and to exploit that, we might see him play in the hole behind the forward three. However, it will only happen if the Whites go on to sign one more striker in the transfer market so until then one can expect Bamford to lead the line and United’s goal-scoring onus would fall on the shoulders of the 24-year-old.