A report from The Athletic this week has claimed that Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford has ‘secretly’ penned a one-year extension to his contract, which was due to end in the summer of 2022 – ending doubts over his long-term future at Elland Road. Asked about the report, Nigel Martyn has told LeedsUnited.News that he believes the club’s top scorer probably deserved a slightly longer contract, but explains how it benefits all parties.
Bamford, 27, is in the form of his life. Pre-season claims suggested he would struggle in the Premier League. Even ex-Leeds manager David O’Leary suggested that the striker needed replacing – but even the signing of club-record purchase Rodrigo has not displaced Bamford this season. The striker has scored 15 goals in 35 Premier League appearances, but has also laid on an impressive seven assists. A new contract, then, is deserved.
Especially because he had a deal until June 2022. The Athletic claim, though, that instead of offering him a new deal – they have simply activated a clause in his current deal that has extend his current contract by a further 12 months. It is claimed that Liverpool have taken a look at Bamford who remains in with a shout of Euro 2021 – and Martyn believes Bamford probably deserved more.
“Possibly, then,” Martyn told LUN, when asked if Bamford deserved a longer deal. “You could say he might have deserved a three-year deal. But this is a club in transition for players. If it’s aiming to go higher, which all clubs are, then it is going to want to bring in new players when they become available in all positions. What Leeds are saying, if this is true, is that ‘yes, you’ve earned yourself another year, you’ve been fantastic, do the same again and you’ll get the same again.’ That’s probably what they’re saying.”
Ahead of the summer window, Leeds are likely to spend again. A new left-back is certainly needed while a replacement for Kiko Casilla – or competition for Illan Mesalier – could be brought in. Cover for Kalvin Phillips and another option in the number six role, as well as a permanent deal for Jack Harrison is expected, while cover for Bamford up top might also be considered. But surely, Bamford remains first choice.
If the report is true, then, Bamford has a contract until the summer of 2023 – meaning he has two years remaining on his deal and deterring any potential advances from other clubs, such as Liverpool. Martyn went on to explain that while he might have deserved a completely new deal until 2024, he reckons that such a deal might actually benefit the former Burnley and Crystal Palace striker in case he does want to leave.
“If next season doesn’t work out, then he still has the option to fight for a place – or if a player comes in, it gives the player to option to go. But he loves it here, he’s doing really well,” Martyn continued. “As a player, he would’ve liked to have got longer – but it can work in your favour as well. I don’t necessarily think it is a bad thing, but it should happen to everybody – not just tie a young player down to a five-year deal.”