Kalvin Phillips is delighted to see Patrick Bamford earning credit for his rich vein of form at Leeds – and insists he always knew he had goals in him.
The striker has, in the past, struggled for consistency in front of goal and has come in for lots of criticism. His profligacy in front of goal even drew some words of advice from Ian Wright earlier this year.
With the stats showing Bamford needed four chances to score one goal, doubts emerged whether he could step up in the Premier League.
However, it’s been a different story this season. Bamford has seven goals in eight appearances so far; it should be eight in eight but for a controversial VAR incident last weekend.
Such has been his fine form, there’s even been talk of an England call-up.
While that didn’t emerge for the latest round of internationals, Phillips has though admitted he’s delighted to see the striker in the goals.
“Last year was tough for Pat. He had a lot of stick. I had family and friends saying, ‘what’s Bamford doing? Is he a good player?’
“Let me tell you this, Pat’s an unbelievable player,” Phillips told The Times.
“He’s got all the attributes to be a great striker: strong, quite big, faster than people think. His finishing is unbelievable. I’ve always said he’s a really good player, just a confidence player.”
Martyn suggests Robin Koch could lose place
Former Leeds goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, meanwhile, feels Robin Koch might lose his place when Diego Llorente returns from injury.
Marcelo Bielsa has stuck with Koch ever since the stopper arrived at Elland Road in August. The 24-year-old defender has played every minute of the Whites’ eight Premier League games this season.
Results have been mixed with the Germany star in the side. Three wins, four defeats and a draw sees the Yorkshire side 15th in the table. He has not been faultless in the rearguard, with Martyn pointing the finger at his frailties.
“The goals we have conceded, Koch makes the first error against Leicester,” Martyn told LeedsUnited.News. “Goals are coming down his side, over Cooper. It was [Scott] Dann that got the header on him on Saturday. He is the one making mistakes, but he is the future.”
Captain Liam Cooper has been first choice when fit, starting five top-flight games. It remains to be seen what direction Bielsa goes in but Martyn can see a change being made.
“It is a difficult one, Liam is the captain,” he added. “I can see him going with Llorente and Cooper to start with, but that could be something he might have to tinker with.”