Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills overlooked a key flaw in Patrick Bamford’s game when he suggested to Football Insider that he could not understand why Whites supporters would rather have retained Kemar Roofe’s services over the former Middlesbrough forward.
Bamford is currently the Elland Road natives first-choice striker with Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah acting as his understudy, after Roofe left West Yorkshire for Belgium and joined RSC Anderlecht for a reported £7million (Leeds Live) in the summer.
However, the Grantham-born attacker’s style of play has rarely been lauded by the Leeds fanbase, and Mills feels they would happily have allowed the 25-year-old to leave after one season if it meant Roofe staying.
“He’s always going to divide opinion because of the style that he plays,” Mills claimed. “It’s always going to be split, whether people want him [in] or out, but when you look at his record, it was better than Kemar Roofe’s.
“On the surface, if you’d asked Leeds fans would you rather Roofe or Bamford, they’d have probably said Roofe. When you look at the stats, Bamford’s better, [and] his productivity is greater. We know how meticulous Bielsa is, I’m sure he’s looked at absolutely everything.”
What stats Mills was referring to was not claimed by Football Insider or later reflected on, but Bamford and Roofe’s respective records from last term heavily favour Roofe in terms of finding the target.
In the 25 Championship fixtures where he featured at striker last season, Roofe (3.6) recorded a marginally lower average number of shots on goal per ninety minutes than Bamford (4.2) managed in his 16 outings, but the Walsall-born man now of Anderlecht achieved a higher percentage on target, according to data collected by WhoScored.
Bamford’s ability to find the target is a key flaw that has carried over into the new campaign, too, with the United hitman firing wide of the mark with 1.9 of his average 3.7 efforts per 90 so far this season.
Where Bamford bettered Roofe last term, though, was in chance creation, with the 25-year-old boasting more key passes (1.7 per 90 compared to 0.8), aerial duels won (1.5 to 1.2) and successful dribbles (0.8 to 0.6).
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