EXCLUSIVE

Noel Whelan has hailed Patrick Bamford as a “man possessed” for Leeds United in the opening weeks of the new season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker has been blown away by the tirelessness and fitness levels of the striker after a full pre-season under Marcelo Bielsa.

Bamford has played the full 90 minutes in each of Leeds’ three Championship games and scored three goals, including a double in last weekend’s 2-0 win at Wigan Athletic.

The striker, 25, is in line to lead the United attack once again in tonight’s Championship clash against Brentford at Elland Road.

“I questioned Bamford before the start of the season as his performances in the big matches at the end of last season were not good enough,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“He didn’t turn up in those big games and he was a bit of a let-down. But I’ve seen some real centre-forward performances from him in the first three league games this season.

“At Wigan, he did everything right. He held the ball up, brought others into play, ran the channels, scored two goals. He’s like a man possessed.

“He is showing a turn of pace I never thought he had. He is doing impossible things like chasing down a defender when he is 10 yards behind and catching him up. That shows the fitness levels Bielsa drills into his players.”

Whelan is expecting big things from Bamford after an injury-hit debut campaign at Leeds following his £7million transfer from Middlesbrough last summer.

“I think if we keep Patrick Bamford fit, he will get 20 goals this season,” the pundit added. “That is his target. That’s what the best centre-forwards in the Championship do.”

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are set to pay significant add-on costs after agreeing terms of £4million new signing.