Phil Hay believes that Patrick Bamford won’t be a starter for Leeds United when he returns from injury.
Bamford has had a torrid time of things over the last 12 months or so with the striker simply unable to remain fit for an extended period of time, playing just 10 times last season and has picked up another knock already this term, which saw him miss the club’s game last weekend.
However, while Leeds struggled during Bamford’s absence last season, they are still unbeaten under Jesse Marsch this campaign, and that is largely down to Rodrigo, who appears to have found some red-hot form, as he now sits as the Premier League’s top scorer.
Hay believes that Rodrigo can’t be dislodged as the main striker as long as he’s playing this good, which will see Bamford relegated to the bench.
Speaking on The Phil Hay Show, he said: “[Rodrigo], like others at Leeds, and quite a few others at Leeds, will have the World Cup at the back of his mind – and if he carries on playing like this, I think the chances are that he will go.
Who should be Leeds' starting striker?
“I guess the question I ask now is, if Bamford is fit for Brighton away next weekend, does he even start? Because quite honestly, at the moment, I don’t think he does. I think Rodrigo is in the [number] 9 role.
“I think Rodrigo is doing enough to keep the 9 role for now, and I think to some extent, the pecking order has changed there.”
TIF Thoughts on Bamford’s current situation…
Bamford will have slight hopes of making the World Cup squad himself with England after picking up his first cap last year, but if he can’t shift Rodrigo given his top-class form, it may be yet another frustrating season for the striker.
There can be no complaints from Bamford’s end if he is forced to sit on the bench, at least during the early part of the season, because Rodrigo is arguably in the form of his Leeds United career at the minute and the most in-form striker in the league.