Patrick Bamford’s Leeds United crossroads could be dictated by 49ers Enterprises’ eight-figure chase

Patrick Bamford’s Leeds United crossroads could be dictated by 49ers Enterprises’ eight-figure chase

Two 90-minute outings since September 2021, five league goals in the same 21 months and relegation have brought Patrick Bamford to a Leeds United crossroads.

The peak of Bamford’s career, to date, came just 12 days before that ankle injury at St James’ Park which set in motion the decline we have since seen. His one England cap, that Wembley start against Andorra he will never forget, was the product of three years under Marcelo Bielsa’s wing.

The striker had proven all of his doubters wrong with a 17-goal Premier League season which was only bettered by three players (Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Bruno Fernandes). That cruel ankle injury, which he played through until the end of the Tyneside clash, cut him down before he could even get going with the Three Lions.

There have been starts, false starts and comebacks since then, but Bamford, always a very open and honest interviewee, would even admit he has been nowhere near his best form across the last 21 months. Bielsa would only get one more game out of Bamford as his head coach, that ill-fated equaliser at home to Brentford, before he was sacked.

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Jesse Marsch tried to manage the forward through his various returns, but they struggled to make anything stick until his comeback at Accrington Stanley. After that cup game, Bamford started 15 of the remaining 21 games last season.

There were more niggles down that stretch, but if the striker wants to cling onto anything he can at least show his body is holding up under the strain of weekly matches again. Sadly, as availability has become less of an issue on the terraces, the sticking point remains Bamford’s form.

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There was the long-range, deflected strike against Brighton & Hove Albion before deft headers against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, but while Rodrigo struggled with his own injury comeback, fans needed Bamford to prop up the survival fight. For all of the competent hold-up play Bamford delivered in knitting together Leeds attacks, in this world of three-minute highlight packages, his misses against Leicester City and Newcastle United are what history will remember.

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  • June 24, 2023