Leeds United journalist Beren Cross has given his thoughts on the battle between Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo for the starting centre-forward spot at the club.
For the vast majority of his time at Leeds United, Rodrigo has been utilised as either an attacking midfielder or a second striker, with last season’s top scorer Bamford being the leading centre-forward under Marcelo Bielsa.
But with Bamford recently picking up an injury, the Spaniard has been filling his spot in the Leeds team.
This led to something of a debate on the latest edition of The Blue White and Yellow podcast about how the two would blend together moving forward, and Cross claimed that the performances of both Bamford and Rodrigo could cause some selection problems moving forward for boss Marcelo Bielsa.
He said: “I think he’s staked a claim [to be starting for Leeds]. This is why they bought Rodrigo, they bought him to create this debate and clearly they had a plan in their hands for how they were going to use him and Bamford.
“I think we all assumed that when he first came in before Bamford had set foot in the Premier League again, that ultimately, Bamford would become the bench striker and Rodrigo – because he was Spain’s number nine, he was the record signing, he was signed to be a striker – we just assumed that this was Leeds levelling up, and that Bamford would, after a fairly challenging 16-goal season in the second division, was going to sort of revert to being an impact sub and somebody that would fill in for Rodrigo when he was injured.
“But the tables have changed and Bamford’s stock has risen. Bamford’s an England international now, and that really means something. So I think, whether we like it or not, when they’re both fit, we are going to see Rodrigo reverting to the 10 and Bielsa and Rodrigo are gonna have to commit to that project and we’re going to have to enjoy Rodrigo as a nine whilst we can.”
TIF Thoughts on Beren Cross’ comments about Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo at Leeds United…
Who would you rather have leading the line?
It certainly is an interesting conundrum for Bielsa when it comes to team selection, but the best logic is probably to go with who is going to get you more goals, and going off their levels of production both this season and last, then the nod simply has to go to Bamford.
Football is a results-based business, and if Bamford is likely to get the club more goals than Rodrigo, then it’s not really that hard of a decision to make in the grand scheme of things.
And with the club having a very impressive season last year with Bamford leading the line and Rodrigo primarily playing behind him, then they shouldn’t be trying to fix something that isn’t really broken.
In other news: ‘Massive’ – Journalist buzzing over ‘big news’ for Leeds