Ben Parker has told LS11 that he thought Patrick Bamford was a goal away from the perfect performance in Leeds United’s win at Barnsley at the weekend – while he also suggested that the Whites have the best two strikers in the division.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are back at the top of the Championship table after a 2-0 win at Oakwell. However, it did appear that it was going to be a frustrating afternoon for the Whites.
Leeds could not break the deadlock until the 84th minute. It was Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah who found the back of the net as he tucked home Kalvin Phillips’s free-kick.
Nketiah was brought on for Bamford with 20 minutes remaining. The 26-year-old had endured a frustrating afternoon while on the pitch as he engaged in a hard-fought battle with former Leeds man Aapo Halme.
But while some are likely to feel that Nketiah’s goal should see the Gunners youngster get his chance to start, Parker insisted that Bamford should be proud of his display against the Tykes.
“I thought he occupied the two centre-halves really well. Bamford was backing into [Halme], wrestling with him,” he told LS11. “And that’s the part of his game that I think has come on leaps and bounds this year. He’s winning the battle with the centre-halves and basically, just giving us a platform.
“He’s not giving anything away easy and I thought it was the perfect striker performance from him, apart from the goal.”
And the former Whites full-back went on to make a big claim about Bamford and Nketiah.
“We’re lucky in my opinion. We’ve got the two best strikers in the league. So let’s enjoy them both because they both offer different qualities,” he went on to add.
Bamford has scored four league goals already this season. Nketiah has four goals in all competitions – with two coming in the Championship. It is a remarkable statistic given that he is yet to start a league game.
And if Leeds can keep both men fit for the large majority of the season, it would be no surprise to see them both amongst the division’s highest scorers at the end of the campaign. It would also not be a surprise to see United go one step further than they went last year in the promotion race.