Euro 2020 Special

Patrick Bamford: A Goal Slayer Under Marcelo Bielsa

Patrick Bamford is currently 27-years-old and many would say that the striker is at the peak of his game when it comes to his all-round play. He looks like an established Premier League striker now and one on whom the team could rely to deliver regular goals. He has the most goals scored by a promoted player since the 1999-2000 season and this tells you the impact he has had for Leeds United in the Premier League.

However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the English striker, so we dig deeper into how he became the player he is right now.



Patrick Bamford started as a product of the Nottingham Forest Academy, where he was an outlier in football from a very young age. His mother’s side of the family is Irish and he considered representing Ireland at the international level as he was capped for the country’s under-18 side before switching to England during his under-21 days. He joined Forest at the tender age of eight but education was equally important for the young boy. His academic excellence was recognised by Harvard University in the United States of America as he was offered a soccer scholarship which he eventually turned down to concentrate on his professional football career in England. He is a talented musician as well and speaks three different languages apart from English. Needless to say, Bamford had an interesting childhood and was lucky to be born in a privileged family. He rose through the ranks of the academy and made his senior team debut in 2011.



At just the age of 18, one of England’s biggest club; Chelsea came calling for the teenage sensation and Bamford didn’t think twice before signing for the London-based club in 2012. He wasn’t considered ready for the Premier League by Chelsea and post his move to the Blues, numerous loan moves followed but nothing seemed to work for the forward. He endured seven loan spells in six seasons and it was at Middlesbrough where he found his feet as a forward in the Championship. In 2015, he was named the Championship’s Player of the Year. His stylish forward play and his 17 league goals helped Middlesbrough push for promotion to the Premier League.

Finally, in 2017, Patrick Bamford made his move to Middlesbrough a permanent one as he had accepted that his dream to play for Chelsea was all but over. During his five years as a Chelsea contracted player, the forward failed to register even one appearance in the blue of Chelsea.



In 2018, Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United came calling for the striker and this was too good an opportunity for Bamford to refuse. At the time, the striker’s goal return was deemed not good enough but Bielsa saw in Bamford a player who was more than just a goalscorer. His overall play with and without the ball convinced the Argentine that Patrick was the man who will lead the forward line of the Whites. It was a constant improvement from the player as well as his teammates who adapted to ‘Bielsa-Ball’ magnificently. His goal tally improved over seasons and in his second season with the club he helped the sleeping giants, Leeds return to the top-flight of English football after 16 long years.

This season, Patrick Bamford found himself back in the Premier League but this time with a manager who believed in his abilities. There were a lot of murmurs around his dismal record in the Premier League prior to this season but Bamford silenced the critics in their first game itself at the home of the champions, Liverpool. From that match at Anfield, it seemed like Bamford and his Leeds team belonged to the Premier League and they took to the league like fish to water. He started the season with scoring in three consecutive matches for Leeds and became just the second player for the club to score in Leeds’ opening three away matches. Matchweek six at Villa Park, saw the Whites trash Aston Villa 0-3 and Patrick Bamford became the first player to score a Premier League hat-trick for the Peacocks since 2003.

With 36 goals in 89 appearances, Patrick Bamford is the most prolific goalscorer Marcelo Bielsa has ever had during his time as a manager of a football club. Bamford has got the most shots on target by any player in the league and with his overall work rate he puts in every game, this would be the perfect time for him to get a national call up and hopefully be a factor for England being successful in Euros 2021.




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