Former Leeds United player turned popular football pundit, Noel Whelan has showered praise on Patrick Bamford for his performance against QPR on Saturday.
Leeds won 2-0 against QPR in the Championship clash, and moved to second in the table, on same points with Preston North End and Swansea City.
Whelan feels Bamford did enough against QPR to keep his place in the side ahead of Eddie Nketiah.
Nketiah, who joined on loan from Arsenal this summer, was all set to start Saturday’s clash against Mark Warburton’s side. However, prior to the game, Nketiah suffered an abdominal injury, and as a result, Bielsa was forced to start with Bamford.
The 26-year-old, who hasn’t scored in the last two months, failed to find the net again for Leeds. Whelan was impressed with his overall contribution and suggests that Nketiah will have to wait even longer for his first league start.
“Patrick Bamford has taken his opportunity today, knowing that he wasn’t going to be starting and that could have been Eddie Nketiah’s chance. I think Eddie’s going to have to sit back on the bench again after Patrick Bamford’s performance,” he told BBC Radio Leeds.
“Even despite not scoring a goal, you see what he brings. You see the energy, you see the aggression. You see how he brings people into play. It’s hard to drop him when he’s like that. I know he’s not scoring the goals. He’s had one disallowed for offside, a great goal-saving tackle in the first-half when he’s gone round the keeper, generally he’s done everything right.”
Marcelo Bielsa has explained in details in the past what his two strikers can bring to the table. While Nketiah is a natural goalscorer, Bamford brings a lot more balance to the side with his impressive work rate and energy.
Whelan is right that it is proving really difficult to criticise any other aspect of Bamford’s game at the moment. However, with Leeds midfielders not contributing enough with goals, Bamford must start scoring at the earliest if he wants to retain his place in the side.