By Daniel Feliciano

16th Apr, 2022 | 1:10pm

MOT View: Patrick Bamford will never be the same again, Leeds United must sign a replacement

Leeds haven’t had the best of seasons without Patrick Bamford this year, and his injury problems seem unlikely to be going away any time soon.

The one-time England international has missed a large part of the season after suffering with several injury problems, but most prevalently plantar fiscitis which has seen him ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

But after missing his goals for a large chunk of the season this year, they’ve now found a way to cope without him.

That doesn’t stand him in good stead for the next season, with Jesse Marsch well aware of the qualities he possesses but also the problems that come with relying on him for an entire season.

With the summer transfer window coming up, there is a chance for Leeds to correct that issue in their squad and ease the burden on the 28-year-old former Chelsea man.

Plantar fascitis is an injury that often resurfaces, especially in athletes, and while it will definitely be managed and treated well at Elland Road and Thorp Arch, it’s hard to see how Bamford will ever be the same again.

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He’s a player that relies on his energy and constant running, winning duels against defenders and outworking his opponents. Marsch likes someone who can press from the front too, so that is a great fit.

But if Bamford can’t reach the levels he once hit, then the club should look to replace him in the lineup as soon as possible rather than hoping he eventually recovers that form.

Next season will be huge for club, manager and player after the way this season played out. It would help all parties if a new striker was brought in with similar attributes that Marsch could rely on more regularly.

Joe Gelhardt’s future should be considered when the decision is made, because he’s clearly a special talent. But it’s too soon for him to be relied upon to lead the line of a Premier League attack for a full season.

Bamford still has something to offer when he is fit, and even in the dressing room as a senior player, but on the pitch his time is now limited.

Leeds shouldn’t let that limit them, and should begin their plans for the future this summer.

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