Former Premier League striker Gabriel Agbonlahor believes that Leeds United may have rushed their decision to hand Patrick Bamford a new contract.
The Lowdown: Bamford extends Leeds stay
The 27-year-old enjoyed a superb 2020/21 season for the Whites, scoring 17 goals in the top flight and helping them finish ninth in the table in their first campaign at that level since 2003/04.
Bamford has been rewarded for his excellence, with the striker signing a new five-year deal at Elland Road last Thursday.
The Latest: Agbonlahor unconvinced
However, Agbonlahor isn’t convinced that Bamford has done enough to justify a new-and-improved contract is, telling Football Insider that the ex-Chelsea marksman needed to prove himself for longer.
The former Aston Villa striker said:
“I think it’s a bit of a rush to give him that deal, to be honest. He’s had one really good season but you want to see if he has second season syndrome himself or if he can do it again this season. You can decide on the contract maybe halfway through this season.
“Marcelo Bielsa might see stuff that we don’t see. Maybe they want to tie him up because other clubs are after him. If it was me, I’d probably wait and see how he does this season.”
The Verdict: Key season for Whites star
Although Agbonlahor’s comments are a little harsh, there is an element of truth to what he’s saying, considering that Bamford – who ex-Leeds ace Brian Deane called a “confidence player” and “very intelligent” – has still only had one prolific season in the Premier League.
The 2021/22 campaign is a big one for the Leeds hero, with second season syndrome always potentially on the cards for strikers, due to opposition defenders sussing them out and gaining a greater understanding of their style of play.
Bamford needs to prove that his superb form last season was no flash in the pan, enjoying another relentless campaign in front of goal and backing up the club’s decision to give him a new long-term deal.
In other news, Phil Hay has provided a key Leeds United transfer update. Read more here.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience