Patrick Bamford is currently the joint 10th highest scorer in the Championship this season with 12 goals. He has the worst percentage (BBC) of shots on target among the top 15 scorers in the Championship. However, it is quite clear that he is firmly the first-choice striker at Elland Road. A team looking for promotion is expected to have a striker who would breach the 20 goals mark. It remains to be seen whether Bamford would be able to hit the ’20-goal’ milestone in the second half of the season.
Bielsa wants Bamford to be more efficient
Marcelo Bielsa recently revealed why he values Bamford so much but also indicated that he would like to see the striker be more efficient in front of goal. The Argentine boss said (Yorkshire Evening Post), “Bamford is the player in the Championship who has shot more times in the competition. Of course, I would like him to have more efficiency, but I value a lot that in every match he is in good condition to score. We hope that he gets what he deserves.”
Bielsa seems to be happy that Bamford is getting in goal scoring positions, but it is fair to say that a more deadly striker would have had more goals in this current Leeds United team. But Bielsa seems to be the kind of manager who would be more concerned if his striker wasn’t getting opportunities to score.
Fans have been harsh on Bamford from time to time because of his glaring misses. However, they must have also realised that United’s overall game suffers when he isn’t on the pitch.
Jean-Kevin Augustin is still trying to get up to speed, and it remains to be seen whether he would be able to have an impact on the first team or not. As things stand, Bamford firmly seems to be the preferred striker in Bielsa’s eyes.
Which striker could have made an impact straight away?
Maybe the Whites could have brought in a striker with Championship experience who was up to the desired level of fitness. Nahki Wells was a striker who was sold by Burnley to Bristol City in January for £5m. Wells had managed 13 goals and three assists for a struggling QPR side in the first half of the season where he was on loan. He could have been ‘the striker’ that hit the ground running along with challenging Bamford for first-team places.
Hopefully, Bamford will show more efficiency in future games. The Englishman has been a puzzle as the Whites play much better when he is on the pitch, but a striker will always be judged by the number of goals he scores. Getting in right positions shouldn’t be enough for a side which is chasing promotion and Bielsa should be showing a more ruthless approach in terms of judging his performances.
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