Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

Alex McLeish has backed Leeds United to sign a “ruthless” striker to take the pressure off Patrick Bamford for the second half of the season.

The former Aston Villa and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, believes the 27-year-old is now relied on too much at Elland Road after exceeding expectations at the start of the season.

Bamford hit the ground running on Leeds’ return to the Premier League, with seven goals in his first eight league appearances.

He has since scored three times in 10 games for the Whites and is currently on his longest barren spell of the season having failed to score in his last three matches.

However, he is still the top scorer at Elland Road, having netted over a third of the club’s league goals this term.

McLeish has compared Leeds’ reliance on Bamford to the demands placed on Callum Wilson’s shoulders at Newcastle and suggested Marcelo Bielsa could do with adding an experienced hitman before the end of the season.

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Asked if he thought Leeds needed a new striker this month, McLeish told Football Insider: “Yeah, of course, of course they do, absolutely. 

“Look at Callum Wilson at Newcastle, okay, he’s played up with Andy Carroll and started together the other day there but Andy’s kind of in the last couple of years of his career, I would think, and definitely Bamford is also relied on too much.

“When he doesn’t score, everybody’s almost like: ‘Well Bamford must have been rubbish,’ but there’s a lot of pressure on the guy to keep scoring every single week, it’s the hardest job in the game is scoring goals.

“Bamford, unfortunately, made it look easy in the first few weeks of the season but now he’s hit that wee drought and strikers, Alan Shearer famously said years ago that when you don’t score in a few games you start to think you’ll never score again.

“They do need other potent strikers and at least another striker who knows his way – in terms of it being a youngster or an older guy, they probably need, at this moment in time, a real ruthless striker and Bamford can play around people as well.”

In other news, Leeds United have been tipped to sign their ‘Missing piece of jigsaw’ after an intriguing reveal from Andrea Radrizzani.