Kevin Phillips has slammed Leeds United’s decision not to sign striker cover for Patrick Bamford in the summer transfer window.
What’s the story?
Bamford has been an ever-present for Marcelo Bielsa’s side over the past couple of years – he featured in every single Premier League game last season – but missed the game at the weekend against West Ham due to injury.
Without him up front, the Whites fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to the Hammers, and former Sunderland star Phillips has now questioned the Yorkshire club’s decision not to sign some cover for him in the summer.
He said: “Defensively, Leeds have been struggling but (Charlie) Cresswell has come in and done really well. From an attacking point of view, I think it is crazy that they did not sign another out-and-out striker to compete with Bamford and to provide cover for him if he was to get injured.
“Every player at some point gets injured. It is very rare that they don’t and it’s happened. It was interesting to see Rodrigo playing up there.
“It was another poor result at the end of the day and you have to say it could be a bit of a slog for Leeds this season. They need to stop shipping goals. Who is going to step up and score the goals if Bamford is out?”
Leeds fans will be worried
While Rodrigo was deployed up top in Bamford’s absence, Phil Hay detailed how the Spaniard actually played a far different role than the England international, playing more as a false nine and coming deeper to pick up the ball.
Last season saw Bamford score a remarkable 17 goals in the Premier League, while also providing another eight assists too, so it’s not just the goal-scoring that the Whites really miss when he isn’t in the side too.
Just like their decision not to sign a new central midfielder, the Whites took a major risk by relying on their current options staying fit, and it’s already seeming like a flawed one.
If Bamford gets ruled out for the long-term, then Leeds are putting a lot of faith on someone like Rodrigo coming good, something he hasn’t exactly shown in his time at Elland Road just yet.
Whites fans will no doubt be worried.