Nigel Martyn has told LeedsUnited.News that he believes Marcelo Bielsa’s side should have looked at bringing in competition for Patrick Bamford at Elland Road this season, with the Argentine manager stating in his pre-Newcastle United press conference that he does not expect the club to make any new signings.
Bamford, 27, struggled on Tuesday night and was taken off after an hour – replaced by Tyler Roberts. He has now gone three league games without finding the back of the net, though he has netted 10 Premier League goals in his 19 appearances. He has certainly exceeded initial expectation, with many doubting his ability to score in the top tier.
“No it’s not contemplated that we are going to bring anyone in. I am happy with the squad that we have, I am comfortable with it and I feel we can finish this season with these players,” Bielsa said, before the 2-1 win over Newcastle – as per the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Even touted with an England call-up earlier in the season, Bamford has earned the right to start every Premier League game from now until the end of the season – but there will be games, like Tuesday night, in which nothing clicks and the ex-Chelsea striker struggles. At that point, Leeds may have to turn to a plan B option from the bench – and is Tyler Roberts that man?
Leeds icon Martyn thinks his old club should have looked at buying a striker to offer the Yorkshire side competition, and another option to Bamford up front. But Martyn also outlined just how difficult it is to make the right signing in the winter window, with the January market notoriously harder to complete transfers.
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“I think we do struggle without Bamford,” Martyn said. “He didn’t get a lot of service against Brighton but they’re a better side with him playing. If you could have got someone in of his ilk, but it is different in January to get players in that you need. Players in the last six months of their contract for half-price is an option. They will have been looking and probably still are.
“But it has to be the right quality,” Martyn continued. “They have got players in this season who play up there, Rodrigo, Raphinha – but they aren’t good enough to do that role by themselves. You always want more players coming in, but you don’t want to be losing players. The manager is confident the team are going to stay up, and win the right percentage of games. Then, in the summer, he will look to do more in improving. But he isn’t the type to panic buy a striker to get 15 goals before the end of the season.”
With five days left in the window, it remains unlikely that Leeds are going to enter the window – but that could change if the right option presents itself, or another team choose to sign a Leeds player and Victor Orta looks to bring in a replacement. But the Whites are careful when it comes to transfers and will not be going in gung-ho – having spent the best part of £100million in the summer.
If £10million (Mail) Bamford can double his current tally, then it will be an enormously successful campaign for the Leeds number nine – and he is still more than capable of achieving that. The combination of Rodrigo and Raphinha behind him will help create chances for the English striker, as will the continuously creative style of play that Jack Harrison provides from the left.
But with 26 points at the halfway stage, Leeds are in a good position and without additions – should reach their target of avoiding the drop.