Noel Whelan has insisted Patrick Bamford is an “exceptional” asset for Leeds United getting unfairly slated by many supporters.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker is unsurprised that Bamford has remained the first choice centre-forward in Marcelo Bielsa’s side despite a poor recent goal return.
Bamford scored four goals from Leeds’ first five Championship matches this season but his drought has now extended to 10 games.
A significant section of fans have also been extremely critical of the £7million signing from Middlesbrough for his profligacy in front of goal and claim the more prolific Eddie Nketiah should have been spearheading the attack before his injury.
“I can see where the fans are coming from and this is a debate that isn’t going away,” Whelan told Football Insider. “But Patrick is getting unfairly criticised.
“His work-rate, application and effort, he’s been exceptional, and his work for the team and his teammates has been immense. They will certainly appreciate him in the dressing room.
“Can Nketiah do the same work as Patrick? Probably not. We are talking about two completely different types of strikers.
“Nketiah is more of a natural finisher, no doubt about that. But when he has twice come on at half-time, we have lost rhythm and not been the same free-flowing Leeds. Patrick brings so much more to the team.”
Bamford joined Leeds from Middlesbrough in the summer of 2018 and was in and out of the side in a debut season marked by two serious knee injuries.
He has played 41 matches for United in all competitions, scoring 14 goals.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that Newcastle United held an Elland Road transfer mission on Saturday.