Marcelo Bielsa has suggested he is ready to stay loyal to Patrick Bamford after reminding critics of all the good he brings to the Leeds side.
The Leeds No 9 has come under fire this season from a section of supporters for his lack of goals, with the striker missing a decent chance in the first half of last weekend’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Derby, though he later won a penalty.
Nketiah came on as a substitute for Leeds in the game, but has contributed goals from the bench, with notable efforts against Brentford and Barnsley helping to earn crucial wins.
That has led to calls for the Arsenal loanee to replace Bamford in the line-up, with Bielsa explaining in the week why the duo have not yet started together.
And when questioned on Thursday about the criticism of Bamford, Bielsa was quick to remind those questioning him of his No 9’s talents.
“Patrick gives things to the team Eddie can also give,” Bielsa started. “Patrick is a goalscorer, Eddie as well. Their difference in style is not too big because both of them can fill the position with the same efficiency.
“Patrick’s initial advantage over Eddie is he has more time with us, more experience and he is older than Eddie.
“What you are talking about, this polemic, is one of the things supporters like and the press like as well. If Bamford doesn’t play, you will ask why Nketiah does play, and if they both play you ask why [Mateusz] Klich or [Adam] Forshaw doesn’t play.
“It’s difficult to answer this criticism. This talk about different situations and that is fair and is nice. Sometimes, the reality offers space for this polemic. Sometimes this polemic is over the reality. What nobody can complain about is the winning.”
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