Frightening Patrick Bamford statistic highlights Leeds' midfield issues
Patrick Bamford has arguably been one of Leeds United’s best-performing players in the opening weeks of the campaign.
His link up play against Everton was excellent. And he got his first goal of the season against Burnley just before the international break.
Few impressed on Sunday as Liverpool largely strolled to victory. But Bamford was arguably one of those who did do reasonably well, with Gary Neville lauding his movement in the first half-hour.
However, Leeds have made an underwhelming start to the season. They have two points on the board.
And while that seems a respectable return given they have faced Manchester United and Liverpool, the performances have been a concern.
And the area where Leeds look to be really struggling is in midfield. Kalvin Phillips was arguably the Whites’ best player against Liverpool. But he was fighting something of a lone hand against a world-class unit.
The likes of Stuart Dallas, Mateusz Klich, Rodrigo, Jack Harrison and Raphinha are yet to really get going.
Remarkably, the quintet have one assist between them. And that was Dallas finding Luke Ayling for the stunning strike at Old Trafford on the opening day.
Bamford was anonymous that day. And he was, once again, given little to do against Liverpool.
And one alarming statistic perhaps best highlights just how tough the midfield have found the early going this season.
Bamford statistic highlights Leeds’ struggles in midfield
According to FB Ref, Bamford has had just 52 touches in the final third this term.
That actually leaves him 97th in the Premier League. And just as remarkably, Ayling is just behind on 51.
Of course, a large part of Ayling’s game is getting forward and contributing in and around the box. He had a golden chance against Liverpool.
But by contrast, Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney has had 100 touches in the final third. Once again, he does like to get forward. But the Gunners have had a terrible start to the season.
Perhaps Bamford could do more. But it seems unlikely Leeds fans will blame the striker for those numbers.
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