Ex-Leeds United midfielder Andy Couzens has told LeedsUnited.News that he believes there are already discussions taking place between the club and top scorer Patrick Bamford over a new deal for the striker – as the club’s number nine continues to sparkle in the Premier League, taking his goal involvements to 20 during Friday night’s 2-1 win over Fulham. His current contract, though, is set to expire in the summer of 2022.
Bamford, 27, came into the campaign with doubts surrounding whether he would be able to cut it in the Premier League – having scored 16 goals in the Championship and missing a whole lot more during the club’s promotion to the top tier. However, he has defied those critics – including ex-Leeds manager David O’Leary – with 14 goals in 29 Premier League appearances.
The ex-Chelsea academy product’s excellent form in England’s top flight has even see him linked with an England call-up – but he narrowly missed out on the Three Lions squad, with Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins being preferred this month. Bamford responded in the perfect way, scoring and then creating Raphinha’s winner on Friday. As well as his 14 goals, he also has six assists.
Asked whether Bamford’s contract is something that will be a priority for Leeds at the moment, Couzens stated that it is something that needs to be sorted soon – but expects the club’s star striker to put pen to paper. Couzens also believes that Bamford is more focused on his game time than his next pay cheque, and that Leeds can match his ambition.
“I think it is something Leeds need to sort as soon as possible,” Ex-Leeds star Couzens told us at LUN. “It is something Leeds will be looking at in this present moment in time as well. It depends on what the boy wants, I don’t think there are any problems with the financial side. Can he hit his targets at Leeds? I think he can.”
Marcelo Bielsa has got the best out of many Leeds players – namely Luke Ayling, Stuart Dallas, Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips, but he has also done wonders for Bamford. Signed from Middlesbrough, Bamford was considered a Championship striker that had failed at Premier League clubs – but he is thriving under the former Athletic Bilbao and Argentina manager.
According to Couzens, Bamford might want assurances from the club regarding Bielsa’s future. The 65-year-old remains out of contract in the summer and while he has spoken in recent press conferences about his future – stating that he expects to remain at Leeds for the remainder of his managerial career – he is still on a contract that ends in June.
“He [Bamford] is well travelled, played a lot of football at a lot of clubs. He knows what Leeds United is about, he is enjoying his football. Having spoken to the lad a couple of times, it is about football – not money. He might want assurances Bielsa will be around for the next year or so – as a player that is something he might want. I would be getting him signed, he might be comfortable where he is.”
Andros Townsend, a former Leeds United loanee, told Optus Sport’s Premier League Productions over the weekend that he does not expect Bamford to leave Leeds despite his current deal expiring in less than 18 months. Couzens is in agreement, and reckons there are things already going on behind the scenes in regards to a new deal for Bamford.
“I’m pretty sure talks will be underway already to get that sorted one way or another, Leeds do it behind closed doors now. We will find out about it via a Tweet, it will be as quick as that. I like that about Leeds. That is something we will be doing, Leeds will not be foolish enough to let him go – or let him run his contract down to let him go in a year’s time.”