Darren Bent has claimed hit-and-miss Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford has “got it in him to be spectacular”.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England centre-forward called for Bamford to be far more consistent if he wants to be a top-level front man.
The forward became United’s most expensive recruit in a decade-and-a-half when he was signed from Middlesbrough for £7million last summer.
He suffered two serious knee injuries in his debut campaign and scored 10 goals from 25 matches in all competitions as he mixed some impressive displays with mediocre ones.
“What kind of killed him was the big injury at the start of season,” Bent told Football Insider. “Then he had to bide this time because obviously Kemar Roofe was in form, then he got the injury and Kemar Roofe just went from strength to strength.
“It took him a while to come back from that and then when he did come back he stepped in and started to score and goals, Bamford, and was playing really really well but then Kemar Roofe came back in and he came out and it was kind of like topsy turvy.
“We know that Patrick Bamford, if he gets a consistent season where he plays a full season, he’ll score goals, but the problem is he doesn’t play a full season.
“He always plays half of season or three quarters and as a centre-forward if you want to score goals and help your team get promoted you need to go from start to finish.
“Injuries, you can’t do anything about that, that’s not your fault, but it’s a lack of form and inconsistency. You need your striker to go from the start all the way to the end scoring goals.
“The boys used to tell me at Derby that he wouldn’t turn up for 10 games but the next five games, he’d be brilliant for five and then go missing again – you can’t have that.”
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa will have two senior forwards to choose from to lead his attack next season, last campaign’s 15-goal top scorer Roofe or Bamford.
“For me, for consistency, you’d go with Kemar Roofe but you know Patrick Bamford got it in him for half season to be spectacular,” Bent added.
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