By Paddy Kenny

5th May, 2021 | 9:00pm

Kenny: Bielsa backed into a corner by Bamford at Leeds

A lack of alternative options up front means Marcelo Bielsa simply cannot afford to take Patrick Bamford out of the Leeds United starting XI.

That is according to ex-Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the Whites’ 2-0 defeat against Brighton on Saturday.

Bamford, who is on a run of just one goal in his last nine games, failed to register a shot throughout the afternoon.

The 27-year-old is yet to miss a match in the league this season, leading fans to suggest fatigue could lie behind his poor form.

Bielsa signed would-be striker Rodrigo from Valencia for a club-record fee in the summer, but the Spaniard has been deployed primarily as an attacking midfielder.

With no backup up front, Kenny claims Bielsa has no choice but to continue fielding Bamford.

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He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “Bielsa could have added some more competition in the summer.

“It’s a really tough one. I’m sure if you ask Bamford, he’ll want to play every game and every minute.

“Sometimes you do need to swap and change. But if you haven’t got the personnel, you don’t wanna leave him out.

“That’s why he [Bielsa] maybe should have got someone else in to lift the burden.

“The issue is, if you leave him out, he might miss two or three games, come back and not be as sharp. He can’t win.”

Despite his poor form, only five Premier League players have scored more goals than Bamford in 2020-21.

He has netted 14 times throughout the campaign and turned provider on another seven occasions.

In other news, Leeds United tipped to sign top-class utility man after major reveal.