Leeds United need to recruit a competitor for striker Patrick Bamford to ensure that he doesn’t start ‘resting on his laurels’.
That’s according to former Whites goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, who was speaking to Leeds United News.
Bamford enjoyed an excellent campaign as Leeds finished ninth in the Premier League. The Englishman was the joint-fourth highest scorer in the division with 17 goals, and he added a further seven assists, with only Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Bruno Fernandes outscoring the 27-year-old in the top flight in 2020/21.
Last summer, Leeds broke their transfer record to sign Rodrigo from Valencia. He can play as a striker but was predominantly used as an attacking midfielder by Marcelo Bielsa (Transfermarkt), the Spaniard scored seven Premier League goals in total as he averaged one every 183 minutes.
Martyn has said that, at the highest level, Bamford needs ‘to be put under pressure’ to extract the best performances out of him. He explained that new arrivals can further improve the attitude within the camp.
“You don’t want things to become stale, you need that competition,” the 54-year-old told Leeds United News.
“New people coming in creates competition, and it gives current players a lift and a reason to fight.
“He’s had a great season but the last thing you want is for him to be resting on his laurels.
“He needs to be put under pressure for his position, go and do it again – that is what being at the highest level is all about.”
Seven goals was a decent return for Rodrigo in a season which was disrupted by injury, but he isn’t an out-and-out centre-forward.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Leeds recruit a second number nine, with Football Insider claiming that it’s one of the areas the Whites are targeting, although they will have to find someone capable of meeting Bielsa’s unique expectations.
More generally, they don’t need to worry too much about Bamford finding motivation, as his excellent numbers this season suggest that he may have been driven on by some critics who claimed that he wasn’t cut out for Premier League level.
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