While Leeds United was expected to survive this season in the Premier League — at least according to most in online sports betting world — many had already written the narrative about Patrick Bamford; critics considered him as not good enough for the top-flight.
Patrick Bamford is Making Waves in the Premier League With Leeds United
One of Bamford’s critics was former Leeds manager David O’Leary.
“In the Premier League in particular, when you take people on and create chances, you’ve got to take them…Patrick Bamford has done great [in the Championship], but I still think another centre-forward would be very important for them, personally…I’d like to see them sign a really top-class centre-forward,” said O’Leary in July 2020.
And Bamford has definitely proven him wrong. The Englishman has more than held his own as he has scored six goals in his first games in the Premier League.
And if he continues this form, then he could be a serious contender for the Golden Boot, one of the many things it’s possible to bet on with live sports betting.
A Complete Turnaround for Patrick Bamford
It’s hard to believe just how much Patrick Bamford has progressed at Leeds United.
In 2017, the striker had just finished a loan at Burnley, where he failed to score in six games. He looked like a Championship striker who would never cut it at the top-level.
But, while the footballing universe gave up on him, Marcelo Bielsa saw something in the Englishman. Deployed as a lone striker at Leeds, Bamford has excelled. Last year, the 27-year-old scored 16 goals as the Whites romped to first place in the Championship.
What helps Bamford excel is Marcelo Bielsa’s system and its crazy brand of attacking football. This style of play means that if Bamford misses one chance, it is not detrimental to his team. Instead, he knows that more opportunities are coming his way.
His confidence was shown when he scored a wonderful hat-trick against Aston Villa. Bamford graced the pitch with the air of a man who knows his worth. His goals were that of someone who completely believes that he belongs at the top-level.
In a way, he has been living up to his own lofty expectations.
“So far this season it’s also been about proving to myself that I was right that I can play at this level and I can cope with the demands of the Premier League.
“After that, I guess proving anybody else wrong is a bit of a bonus,” said Bamford in a TalkSport interview this season.
And if his form continues, he could have a massive chance of winning the Golden Boot – something that would have seemed absurd at the start of the season.
An International Battle for His Services?
Patrick Bamford’s international career is a bit of a weird path. After representing England at the under-age level, he has since considered switching to the Republic of Ireland. Part of the reason must have been that he didn’t ever seem capable of breaking into the England side.
Bamford has remained non-committal to the Irish, even though he could be the missing piece for them. He is a striker who scores goals, which is critical for a country that relies on David McGoldrick and Shane Long. “I have not said yes, I have not said no,” said Bamford when asked about his plans to commit to Ireland in 2019.
However, could Gareth Southgate and England begin to show an interest in Bamford? The Three Lions have a good strike force consisting of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford. However, Bamford could be a good backup option if any of those players get injured.
His competition for this role seems to be Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has enjoyed an equally impressive start to the season.
But if Bamford continues his form, then he has a choice to make. Does he want to be the leading man for Ireland, or does he desire a backup role for England? Time will tell on what decision he makes.