Patrick Bamford has been something of an enigma ever since he joined Leeds United. 

He is the striker who perpetually struggles to strike, the leading man who can – on occasion – frustrate just as much as he delights.

But this season he has looked different.

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Two goals in two Premier League games means that he has already doubled his tally from his previous 27 top flight outings, and even Paul Merson has held his hands up and admitted that he was wrong to judge the hitman too soon.

But a closer look at Bamford’s stats throws up an interesting anomaly.

In some areas, he has been superb.

His shot accuracy is 66.7%, some 27.8% higher than his tally last season, while his crossing accuracy is 76.5% higher, as per Wyscout.

And yet, his total action success rate – the complete figure chronicling everything he does over the course of 90 minutes – is just 25.9%.

In short, Bamford is supposedly getting three out of every four things he does wrong.

That’s a staggering statistic, especially when you consider the fact that his equivalent tally last year was almost 13% higher.

Take last week’s clash with Fulham.

Despite scoring one goal, assisting another, and winning a penalty, Bamford got just 12 of his 48 attempted actions right.

On paper, it looks as if he had a horror show, but he also bagged himself a Whoscored rating of 8.51.

So how are the two things able to co-exist?

Quite simply, it’s because Bamford runs himself ragged for Marcelo Bielsa’s team.

His closing down is relentless, and that tireless work seemingly distorts the stats against him.

Take the example below.

In this position, Bamford could be forgiven for letting the defender advance untroubled.

There’s no real danger, and it’s probably fair to say that a half-hearted amble to give the illusion of some pressure would have sufficed.

Instead, Bamford makes a genuine effort to close his man down, as well as trying to intercept the pass by flinging himself in front of the ball.

Granted, he doesn’t get there, but the fact is that he is trying.

And because he’s made an attempt, rightly or wrongly it goes down as an attempted action.

Do that 20 to 25 times a game, and suddenly it looks as if he’s having a nightmare week after week.

But in many ways, that just epitomises Bamford.

Entirely selfless, willing to follow his manager’s high-intensity masterplan to a fault, and not afraid of running himself into the ground for his side.

His efforts deserve more recognition.

In other Leeds United news, this is the player who Leeds “dream” of signing before the transfer window closes.


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