MOT View: Sky pundit claims Bielsa has 'dilemma' but decision should be easy for Leeds boss
Patrick Bamford welcomed Jean-Kevin Augustin to Leeds United by scoring a brace in the 3-2 win against Millwall on Tuesday night, laying down the gauntlet to the newest addition at Elland Road.
Bamford hadn’t scored in four winless Championship matches before he found the back of the net twice against Millwall even though, in those matches, he amassed 14 shots at goal [WhoScored].
The former Middlesbrough striker stepped up his performance now that he has competition for his spot in the starting line-up and while that is great to see, it should not distract Marcelo Bielsa from the fact that Bamford has been missing way too many opportunities this season.
Even against Millwall, Bamford had nine shots at goal – his highest number of shots in a match this season.
Bamford’s conversion rate has been a worry because Leeds create by far the most chances in the Championship, yet they only became the second-highest goalscorers on Tuesday with their comeback against the Lions.
Augustin’s arrival has, albeit for now, sparked some life into Bamford, but you get the feeling the striker is having a scattergun approach to scoring – shoot enough times and eventually one of them will go in.
Bamford’s brace on Tuesday should not distract from the fact that Augustin is the better and more accomplished of the two Leeds strikers.
Ex-Leeds defender Danny Mills has told Football Insider that Bielsa has a selection headache over the two strikers – which is something we really do not agree with.
“He [Bamford] missed some chances, which is what he does, and then he scores two,” said Sky Sports pundit Mills.
“It’s very, very difficult with Patrick Bamford. You see there’s so much potential there.
“He comes off, he’s scored two goals, he’s worked incredibly hard, and then you go ‘but he could have scored four’.
“But he keeps getting himself in good positions, he’s working hard for the team.
“I think it will be a bit of a dilemma when Augustin is fit and ready to go for that reason. It’s a tough one.”
Augustin arrives at Leeds as a 22-year-old striker who has struggled at Monaco in the first half of the season but, the fact remains that he is young and has already shown brilliant form in one of Europe’s top leagues, as well as the Champions League.
The Frenchman scored 20 goals across all competitions in his two seasons at Leipzig with Borussia Dortmund, Frankfurt, Porto, Celtic and Marseille among some of the teams that have felt how it feels to see him net against them.
Bamford has struggled against the likes of QPR, Sheffield Wednesday, Preston and Birmingham this season.
We don’t mean to completely overlook how well Bamford has done at times but what Mills said about him scoring twice when he should’ve scored four is true.
We need to see if Augustin can be more clinical. We need to see if Augustin can average more goals per game.
Augustin needs to have a chance otherwise we could have a repeat of the Eddie Nketiah scenario where we could be left thinking ‘what if?’.
In other Leeds United news, David Prutton has predicted Leeds versus Wigan.