Bent fancies Bamford to Stay with Leeds

Football Insider pundit Darren Bent has backed Patrick Bamford to remain with Leeds United for the next five years at the least, having cemented his spot as the first-choice striker under Marcelo Bielsa. The former Chelsea graduate has netted only 13 goals from 36 outings this term but he has been a regular up front under Bielsa, who has been impressed with his tireless workrate.

As a result, Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah was barely able to make the starting XI during the first half of the season and he was eventually recalled by the north London giants. Jean-Kevin Augustin arrived on loan from AS Monaco in January to compete for the centre-forward position but he has suffered the same fate and has managed less than an hour’s action in the league.

It is quite clear that Bamford has earned the confidence and faith of Bielsa and Bent can see the marksman staying put with the Yorkshire outfit for another five years, he told: “You know what, I think it is a realistic target because he’s playing for a manager who fully appreciates everything that he does. I don’t think it’s a case of him having to worry: ‘What can I do?’ because clearly, even when things have not gone well, Bielsa’s still played him, still really likes him. For me I think he’s in a situation where he can stay there for the next five years. We understand he’s missed big chances, all strikers miss big chances but it’s his work rate that Bielsa loves.”

Leeds are currently at the top of the Championship standings and they have a seven-point advantage over third-placed Fulham with nine games to play. As such, they are definitely in a strong position to return to the Premier League after a 16-year gap next term and it remains to be seen whether Bamford can excel in the top-flight. He has previously struggled to do so with just one goal scored from 27 outings.