By Dan Carter

21st Sep, 2023 | 6:40pm

Patrick Bamford emergency may now be in place at Leeds United after injury news

So far this season, Patrick Bamford’s absence through injury hasn’t been noticed particularly, as Leeds United have such a huge depth in the front areas to provide plenty of cover.

The striker has yet to play a single minute for the Whites this season after he suffered a hamstring injury during pre-season, but the likes of Joel Piroe, Georginio Rutter and Wilfried Gnonto have ensured the Daniel Farke’s side have still been prolific going forward.

Farke did reveal as reported by Leeds Live (20 September) that the 30-year-old forward was now back in first-team training, yet wouldn’t be rushed back too early, with the upcoming match against Watford likely coming too soon for the forward.

Discussing the striker’s involvement he said: “When you are back in team training you are theoretically available but you must not forget that he’s been out for eight weeks. If there’s an emergency case or something like this, or we have a special idea, yes, he’s back in team training and could be available.”

Such an emergency may have already begun at Elland Road, with Gnonto withdrawn from the Whites’ 0-0 draw with Hull City on Wednesday (20 September) after only 21 minutes of action having rolled his ankle after receiving a kick on the foot.

Farke told Leeds Live following the game the Whites would have to wait for an assessment to see whether or not the Italian winger would be available for the list of Watford on Saturday (23 September), but should he be ruled out, Bamford may return to the fold.

Although typically a left-winger, Gnonto has played up front at times this season, most obviously in the opening-day draw with Cardiff City. Since then Piroe and Rutter have established themselves as the preferred front two in the Leeds side, however, that may have to change.

Rutter could be forced into a wider role to deputise in the 19-year-old’s absence and with Farke preferring to operate with Piroe in the number 10 position behind the centre-forward, there could well be a space up top ready for Bamford to slot into.

With Joe Gelhardt only managing two stars in the league this season, it seems as though the Leeds boss is unlikely to call upon the 21-year-old to lead his line and therefore he may decide this is the sort of emergency that warrants a faster-than-expected return for Bamford.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the former Middlesbrough man who managed 16 goals in his last Championship season return to the squad at Elland Road on Saturday, especially if Gnonto is ruled out for any considerable length of time. Hopefully, he’s fit and ready to hit the ground running.

In other Leeds United news, Farke has revealed the secret behind his promotion success with Norwich City