As one of the surprise packages of English football since the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds keep on impressing. Their attacking and ambitious game has naturally won many fans, as has the transformation in many otherwise middling players. Prior to his arrival at Leeds, for example, Patrick Bamford was typecast as a second tier striker; someone who could score in the Championship, but not the Premier League. However, an outstanding debut top-flight season with Leeds has shown that he can score, play, and contribute as an assister, as well. That, though, won’t stop Leeds from buying a new striker.
This summer is expected to be one of ambition for the Whites, as they look to build on their return to the top-flight with genuine excitement. One area that is expected to see a big change, though, is the striking position. While Bamford will be retained and likely extended, it is likely that Bielsa will look for another striker to help give Bamford even more of a fire under his feet.
The back-ups of Rodrigo Moreno – a wide forward who has struggled to adapt at times – and Tyler Roberts – not seen as good enough by some for the top-flight – are seen as lacking the quality needed. When Bamford is out, Leeds are notably less able to stay in the opposition penalty area and build attacking plays. Therefore, the arrival of another player in the form of a link-up forward might be seen as an essential buy in the summer.
While names are thin on the ground at the moment, it is very likely that there will be a major investment in the forward areas. Especially with rumours reporting that either Rodrigo or Roberts will leave, and the need for another quality striker expands.
Will Leeds look to bring in a top quality striker?
Although Bamford has highly impressed Bielsa and co. there is talk that they might look for a more marquee name. The thinking is simple: Bamford is at his best when forced to play himself into contention and when he has little margin for error. The arrival of another striker who can do similar things might force Bamford to keep improving and to stay consistent.
Indeed, in the past it has been a tactic of managers like Bielsa to find quality back-up who can force the real first-pick striker to keep on improving. Having a quality forward who trains well, stays in good condition, and is professional, could be enough to force Bamford to keep adding to his game in a bid to stay in the team.
So, while a marquee name to force Bamford into a secondary role to begin with would be considered, there likely will be budgetary constraints to think about. In a bid to get the best out of the budget, Leeds might target a striker who can keep Bamford honest as opposed to investing in a big-name replacement.
Either way, it is highly likely that Leeds will have a new forward for the 2021-22 season.