Why Patrick Bamford could help Leeds United secure play-off spot
Bamford, 24, has signed a four-year contract with the Whites and becomes new manager Marcelo Bielsa’s fifth summer signing.
Bamford began his career at Nottingham Forest and made two substitute appearances before being snapped up by Chelsea aged 18 in January 2012. He failed to make a single first-team appearance at Chelsea and had loan spells at MK Dons, Derby, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Norwich, and Burnley.
The 24-year-old won the Championship player of the year award after initially joining Middlesbrough on loan from Chelsea in 2015. After returning to the Teesside permanently in January last year, he hit 13 goals to help Boro to the play-off semi-final last campaign, including a hat-trick against Leeds at the Riverside in March.
The Whites were beaten 3-0 by Middlesbrough, with Bamford singlehandedly ripping them to shreds that afternoon.
Bamford’s entry at Elland Road will end Bielsa’s desperate search for a new striker. And the 24-year-old could carve a niche for himself under Bielsa next season with his top-notch attitude and determination to succeed.
Bamford netted 13 goals last season despite finding himself on the fringes of the first-team for large chunks of the campaign – a laudable return.
A versatile forward who can play anywhere in the attacking third, Bamford brings with him bags of experience and tactical nous.
Standing at 6ft 1in, he is dangerous in the air and excels when it comes to linking up with his fellow attackers. He is a poacher in the box, always ready to pounce on defensive mistakes or finish even half chances.
Bamford doesn’t exactly fall into the category of conventional strikers, often preferring to drop deeper than required to receive the ball and use his pace and directness to attack the opposition defenders. He possesses decent pace, can create opportunities for his teammates and while he is selfish at times, the 24-year-old can prove to be a great asset for Bielsa’s club.
It will certainly be interesting to see if Bamford can score the required amount of goals to fire Leeds into the Premier League but at just £10m, the 24-year-old is a fantastic long-term investment.