The Leeds board made a bold decision during the summer transfer window to let go, Daniel James, who played as a striker the majority of last season, while also not managing to bring in a new centre-forward.
While the form of Rodrigo, he’d scored four goals in four full appearances before picking up a shoulder injury, may have made the Leeds board think they didn’t need a new striker and that has ultimately left them with just Bamford and Gelhardt as first team options.
However, Rayner believes that if Marsch can keep the duo fit, then the Leeds board may well see their transfer decision pay off.
“Obviously, Rodrigo’s dislocated his shoulder, that’s the thing in this era of a transfer window, back in the day, you could just rely on that and then if you had a couple of unexpected injuries, you could go into the transfer market and now you have to sit tight until January.
Will Leeds regret not signing a striker?
“So I think it would have been, I think everybody, including everyone at Leeds would have much rather they signed another centre forward, but as Leon [Wobschall] says, If Bamford does stay fit, if we get plenty of games out of Rodrigo and Gelhardt it won’t be a disaster.
“It’s just that if, it’s just that unknown, particularly when Bamford’s had the injury problems he had last season so we’ll have to wait and see.”
TIF Thoughts on Leeds’ striker situation…
While Leeds do indeed have a reliable Premier League goal scorer in Bamford given he netted 17 times during the one campaign in which he’s been the starter for an entire season in the top flight, he appears to becoming more and more injury prone.
Last season he only managed to start seven league games, Joe Gelhardt has only ever started six Premier League games in his entire career and before the start of this campaign, Rodrigo had never been prolific in England.
Therefore, given there was clearly money available, just look at the clubs’ pursuit of both Cody Gakpo and Bamba Dieng near the end of the transfer window, it would’ve made sense to go all in on at least one new striker, even if it was just on loan to see them through until January or next summer.