Leeds United’s top scorer Patrick Bamford has admitted he “loves” playing alongside Rodrigo Moreno and has confessed that he wishes Marcelo Bielsa had selected him more often.
The 30-year-old arrived in West Yorkshire last summer as the Whites’ record signing. A regular Spain international, his status and fee gave the club exciting hope about their new player. However, Rodrigo has largely struggled to make the impact many had hoped in his first season.
The attacker suffered a groin injury in January, following on from a positive coronavirus test. That has curtailed his involvement for Leeds; he’s also played in a deeper attacking role than many initially anticipated.
Indeed, there was even speculation he could return to Spain this summer. Those rumours were very quickly dismissed by Rodrigo himself.
However, there have been flashes of his quality. His two goals recently at Burnley and an excellent display at Southampton showed what he has in his locker. The win at Turf Moor earned special praise from Bielsa who explained his role in the Leeds side.
Indeed, quite often Rodrigo has been a sub and often brought into the action as a replacement for Bamford. However, the Leeds No 9 admits he wishes he could have played alongside him more often.
And there was a glimpse of their connection at St Mary’s when Bamford latched on to Rodrigo’s throughball to poke Leeds ahead.
“It’s a shame that I never really got to play with him consistently.
“He got Covid, then he got injured, then he got another injury and it took him a while to get into the team. But that pass and vision just showed [his quality].
“He played another one as well where I probably should have squared it by I shot from the tightest angle.
“I love playing with him because he likes dropping short to get the ball.
“I want to play with the best players and he’s obviously a Spanish international!”
Bielsa discusses Bamford heroics
Bielsa, meanwhile, insists Bamford’s fantastic season for Leeds will not be defined by whether he makes England’s Euro 2020 squad.
The United frontman is in Gareth Southgate’s thoughts ahead of naming his squad for Euro 2020 next week. And after moving on to 16 goals for the season, Bielsa insists Bamford can take pride in himself regardless of what happens.
“Patrick had a very generous performance with a lot of effort. He’s had a season in which he’s shone. I’m sure he’ll be very positive about the campaign he’s had,” he said.
“Everything that he’s achieved this season is because of the dedication and effort that he’s put in to show off his abilities.”