'Blimey...' - Exclusive: Pundit drops big Bamford claim ahead of Leeds v Leicester clash
Kevin Phillips has tipped Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford to score 17 Premier League goals this season.
The 2000 European Golden Shoe winner, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, hailed the “superb” 27-year-old as Marcelo Bielsa’s side prepare to welcome Leicester City to Elland Road.
Bamford scored a stunning hat-trick against Aston Villa last time out as he took his goal tally for the season up to six.
The Englishman had scored just once in 27 top-flight games prior to this campaign following spells at Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Burnley and Middlesborough.
Phillips has been left shocked by Bamford’s displays for Leeds this season.
“I take my hat off to him,” he told Football Insider.
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“I did not believe that he could get double figures in the Premier League, or certainly not towards the 20 goal mark but wow, those three finishes the other night were right up there with the very best.
“He looks like he has matured. The way he is playing is more clever. His all round game has massively improved under Bielsa.
“That belief from the manager hasn’t half gone a long way. Bielsa really believes in Bamford and he has obvious ability.
“Those goals against Villa, especially the last one, were brilliant. To be in that tight position and find a little bit of space to curl it in shows great composure.
“That superb performance tells me that there is no reason why he could not get 16, 17 goals in the Premier League this season quite comfortably.
“I take back my words because he has been outstanding so far this season. Blimey. His confidence will be sky-high at the moment.”
In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan tips ‘exceptional’ player to be axed by Marcelo Bielsa tomorrow night.