Kemar Roofe has spoken highly of Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford, claiming the Whites frontman gets a lot of unwarranted stick which he doesn’t always deserve (The Sun).
Bamford has endured a mixed campaign for Marcelo Bielsa’s side in 2019-20, scoring 13 times in 38 appearances in all competitions but having been criticised on numerous occasions for missing chances.
The 26-year-old, who joined Leeds in the summer of 2018 for a reported £10million fee (BBC Sport), has netted just three times in 2020 – with two goals coming in one game, against Millwall – as the Elland Road side lost form early in the year before rallying round.
However, Roofe – who top-scored for the Whites last season before leaving in a reported £7million deal to Anderlecht in the summer – has defended his fellow marksman.
“Playing as a No9 is the hardest position on the pitch,” Roofe told The Sun. “It’s hard to get a top, top striker who can score week in, week out and when you can get one it’s expensive.
“You have to deal with so much pressure. If you don’t take those chances people say you’re not good enough or if you don’t score for a while you start to think, ‘When am I going to get another chance to score?’ and when you get that chance it might be on your mind, ‘Will I score it?’ You have to be mentally strong.
“It’s a bit unfair for him because he gets a lot of stick and sometimes he doesn’t deserve it. Bielsa keeps faith in him because he has that system and players that he trusts play in.”
Bamford continues to divide opinion amongst the Leeds faithful, with some appreciating all the hard work he puts in and difference he makes to the team, while others think his failure to make the most of many chances is a dealbreaker when it comes to a striker.
It’s good of Roofe to speak out in support of his former teammate, but given Bamford’s struggles in finding the back of the net in the Championship this season, he will have a much harder job on his hands if Leeds get promoted – and in case of promotion, Marcelo Bielsa will have some serious thinking to do in terms of potentially bolstering his ranks.