Nigel Martyn has told Leeds United.News that Victor Orta has got to consider bringing in a striker this summer in order to keep Patrick Bamord on his toes. The forward enjoyed a brilliant 2020-21 campaign, but Martyn feels to continually bring the best out of him – competition is required.
Bamford, 27, was sensational – defying pre-season expectations. Starting 37 of his 38 Premier League appearances other than the last outing against West Brom, Bamford netted a migtily impressive 17 goals. He also laid on seven assists, prompting calls for an England inclusion. Not to be.
The ex-Chelsea man has been left out of the 33-man squad by Gareth Southgate, who has preferred Ollie Watkins, Mason Greenwood and Dom Calvert-Lewin as cover for Harry Kane. Regardless, Bamford can be incredibly proud of the season he has had – and can now rest.
Leeds will now be looking to avoid the second-season tail off suffered by Sheffield United, and Wolves to a degree. The Whites will want Bamford to go again and do what he did – and Martyn reckons Bamford needs competition for him to do that. He wants a new striker brought to Leeds.
“You don’t want things to become stale, you need that competition,” Martyn has told LeedsUnited.News. “New people coming in creates competition, and it gives current players a lift and a reason to fight. He’s had a great season but the last thing you want is for him to be resting on his laurels.
“He needs to be put under pressure for his position, go and do it again – that is what being at the highest level is all about. What he’s got to do, the next three years, get 18, 17, 15 and then a 21. That’s what you need your Premier League career to be. That makes you a top player – doing it every season.”
Leeds do have other options. Rodrigo came on for Bamford against Burnley, scoring a sensational brace including a gorgeous chip – over Bailey Peacock-Farrell. He then netted from a corner against West Brom, finishing the season with four goals from four Premier League games.
He failed to make Spain’s Euro 2020 squad, while another option in Tyler Roberts will be at this summer’s tournament with Wales. But Roberts is probably third choice, scoring just one goal. Both Rodrigo and Roberts are better in attacking midfield. A new signing, then, is a real possibility.