Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has tipped Patrick Bamford to replicate Arsenal legend Ian Wright in the coming years.
The Lowdown: Bamford excels for Leeds
There were a number of standout figures for the Whites in their first season back in the Premier League, but none more so than Bamford.
The Englishman scored 17 goals and registered seven assists in the league, standing out as one of the best attacking players in the division.
It has been quite a turnaround for Bamford, who hasn’t always been rated so highly but has thrived with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, also being hailed as ‘exceptional’ by Jurgen Klopp.
The Latest: Whelan makes big prediction
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan, who regularly comments on matters at Thorp Arch, used Wright as a perfect comparison for Bamford, in terms of remaining a top striker over a sustained period of time:
“When you take about strength of character, he’s definitely got it. He’s faced a lot of adversity in his career when he’s been at Palace, Chelsea and Middlesbrough.
“He’s always been one of those players where you want to see a bit more from, you think there’s more to come. There were always question marks there but he’s come back and proven himself.
“He has a strong character and a good mentality. He’s proved those doubters wrong with his goals. He’s the second-top scoring Englishman in the Premier League, you can’t do any more than that.
“Next season is another big one. He’s 27 now and in his prime. This is when you get the best football out of yourself.
“After getting 17 last season he will be a marked man, the best players overcome that. Your Alan Shearers and Ian Wrights.
“They scored at least 20 every season in spite of being targeted by defenders, that’s Bamford’s challenge now and he can be the next Ian Wright, for sure.”
The Verdict: Hitting his prime
At 27, Bamford is a player at his peak and there is no reason why that will change over the next four or five years.
Pace has never been a key aspect of the striker’s game, relying more on his intelligent movement, while more maturity could bring even more composure and belief in front of goal.
Bamford is a huge player for Leeds moving forward and he deserves immense praise for the strides he has made in recent years, silencing the doubters in the process.
In other news, one Leeds player has been tipped to become a ‘god’ at the club eventually. Find out who it is here.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience