Leeds United could face a summer battle to retain the services of Patrick Bamford if they are relegated from the Premier League – with Newcastle reportedly keen to sign the England cap.
Bamford has seen his 2021/22 season wrecked by injury. Having scored 17 goals last season, the Leeds man was the second highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League behind Harry Kane. Taking his Premier League chance with both hands, Bamford’s form made his critics eat their words.
However, the ankle injury he sustained at Newcastle on September 17 was to prove a huge moment in Leeds’ season. Coming just a fortnight after his debut for England, Bamford then missed the next 11 matches for Leeds United.
His return, stepping off the bench against Brentford, saw Bamford poach a last-gasp equaliser; his strike sparking wild celebrations. However, in celebrating like a madman, Bamford sustained a hamstring tweak, leading to another spell on the sidelines.
As he stepped up his return, Bamford then sustained a hip problem, before rupturing his plantar fascia.
That’s a problem he has managed for the last two seasons, but the rupture in the sole of his foot made it impossible for him to play. Bamford spoke about his attempts to put his body on the line if Leeds needed him, but it seems the season’s run-in has come too soon for him.
As such, at best he will likely only start on the bench in Sunday’s decisive showdown at Brentford. Leeds will go into their final match of the season with relegation worries still very much rife. And depending on how Burnley fare against Aston Villa on Thursday, they could begin the game back in the bottom three.
Eddie Howe senses an opportunity
That could see Bamford, and Leeds, back down in the Championship which, given his various injuries, would be a source of huge frustration to the player.
However, the Daily Mail claims Newcastle are ready to make a move for Bamford if Leeds suffer relegation.
They claim Eddie Howe is looking to bolster his attacking options and sees Bamford as an affordable target.
Newcastle are also reportedly keen on Leeds stars Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips too. The Magpies reportedly saw a £35m offer for Raphinha rejected in January.
And they would be keen to land him in the summer, though a move to Barcelona appears the most likely option.
They will, however, also still fancy their chances of luring away Phillips.
The England midfielder has two years left on his deal at Elland Road and Leeds will have little choice but to sell him in the event of relegation.
Patrick Bamford will feel he owes Leeds
If the worst happens for Leeds and they are relegated to the Championship, Patrick Bamford will feel he owes the club. Surely a fit Bamford over the campaign would not see the Whites scrambling for survival the way they are.
And while injury is part and parcel in football, his reaction to suffering his latest setback at Wolves shows just how he cares.
As such, Bamford would unlikely push to leave Leeds if they did suffer demotion. Instead, he would surely stick around and try and restore the club back into the Premier League.
Of course, the issue could be taken out of his hands. Leeds may decide they need to sell and Newcastle are one of a probably only a handful of clubs who would move for the 28-year-old.
There is, of course, a lot of water to pass under the bridge before that happens and Bamford and Co will be watching on nervously as Burnley make the trip to Villa Park on Thursday evening.