By David Woods

27th Oct, 2020 | 7:08am

'Wasn't sure... I am now' – BBC pundit does huge u-turn on Leeds player he said 'couldn't play'

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford is winning all of his critics over and Garth Crooks could be one of his biggest scalps yet.

The BBC pundit has never put Bamford in his team of the week, despite wowing people in the Premier League.

But, even Crooks couldn’t resist him this week and, in his write-up on the BBC, he wrote the words that will make Bamford crack a smile.

“I saw this lad play when he was a scholar at Chelsea and thought he was an exceptional finisher but couldn’t play,” said Crooks.

“[I] never thought he was good enough for the Premier League.

“His hat-trick against Aston Villa on Friday won my respect and admiration. Goals two and three were top-class finishes but his willingness to work for the team has left me mesmerised.

“I have deliberately resisted selecting Bamford for my Team of the Week because I wasn’t sure about him. I am now.”

Confounding critics

We can’t blame Crooks for the views that he held ahead of the Aston Villa game.

There were plenty of Leeds fans who were saying similar things about Bamford last season.

Has he finally found his level? It’s obviously early days but Bamford seems to be playing with new-found confidence at the moment.

That’s come from Bielsa who has committed to Bamford as a long-time project when many other managers would have dumped him from the side.

Bamford has seen out Eddie Nketiah, who had to go back to Arsenal after not getting enough game time.

He went on to score the goals that got Leeds promoted and he’s now one of the leading scorers in the top-flight.

Crooks is right. The second and third goals against Villa are things of beauty – sensational goals from a striker in the zone.

But we loved the first one, too. It was a real poacher’s goal and they’re the ones that have often eluded Bamford who used to seem like he was constantly in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He’s definitely in the right place at the right time now.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Wow’ – Many Leeds fans saying same thing after latest Ben White display for Brighton