Premier League 2020-21: How Patrick Bamford is silencing his critics
Patrick Bamford played one of the most important roles in Leeds United's promotion to the Premier League as he top-scored for his side with 16 goals in 45 Championship appearances last term. But he was written off by many pundits even before the ongoing Premier League season began. The list of his critics includes ex-player Mark Viduka and former manager David O'Leary as well.
However, all those criticisms didn't have any negative impact on him. Instead, it only fueled him to deliver even better as Patrick Bamford stats read seven goals in just 10 Premier League games. That constitutes almost fifty per cent of the total goals Leeds have scored in Premier League 2020-21 season till now.
His performances include a second-half hat-trick against Aston Villa as well and thus he has proven himself as one of the best strikers in the ongoing season.
It was in 2018 that Leeds signed the English striker for a £7m fee. He scored nine goals in 22 championship appearances in his debut season, which was also marred by two critical knee injuries. But he came back fitter and stronger in the 2019-20 season as his scoring prowess helped them deliver the promotion that Leeds fans had been craving for 16 years.
Two things that have worked perfectly for Bamford and have made him feel at home here are Marcelo Bielsa's belief in him and his partnership with Mateusz Klich.
“Since he’s come in he’s put his faith in me from the beginning," Bamford told talkSPORT last month.
“There were tough times last season when he stuck by me because as long as I was working for the team, even if I wasn’t scoring, he still had this belief in me.
“There’s a big thing there where I feel like I need to repay him and I’ve a good start and that goes some way to repaying him.”
Clearly, Bielsa's belief has worked wonders for Bamford. Moreover, the role he has assigned to Klich has helped Bamford in many ways too. The Poland international has assisted three of Bamford's seven goals in this season. Two of them have come when Klich has played further forward as an attacking midfielder.
Klich provides additional support to Bamford and his presence in the final third often opens up opportunities for Bamford as the defenders have to deal with his threat as well. Klich himself has scored twice this season along with the three assists.
Bamford is currently in a system which will help him thrive further. He didn't score in Leeds' 1-0 win over Everton last Saturday but he kept troubling the defenders like he always does. He took six shots out of which one was on target, played two key passes, had a pass accuracy of 90%, won one header, took 20 touches, and made one clearance as well. So, even if his name isn't on the scoresheet, the aforementioned statistics show that he still offers plenty of value to the side.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Laurence Griffiths