By Sean Fisher

6th Oct, 2022 | 9:10am

Adrian Clarke: Revealing stat shows difference Patrick Bamford makes at Leeds United

Patrick Bamford made his first-team return for Leeds United against Aston Villa on the weekend – and this stat shows how important he is for the Whites.

Bamford scored a remarkable 17 goals in the 2020/21 season as Leeds United returned to the Premier League, but the 29-year-old has since suffered to string together consistent games due to a flurry of injuries.

However, it seems the capped England striker is ready to return for Jesse Marsch’s side after coming off the bench on Sunday to face Aston Villa.

Tactics analyst Adrian Clarke emphasised just how important Bamford’s return is to Leeds, by pointing out the side’s win rate with and without him in the side.

“Leeds offer a greater attacking threat if Bamford is in the starting XI,” wrote Clarke, via Premier League productions.

“His absence through injury left a void up front that former head coach Marcelo Bielsa and Marsch struggled to adequately fill, and results suffered.

“A win rate of 40.4 per cent with the striker included, compared to 25.8 per cent without him, is a clear indication of his value to the side.

“The average goals scored per match also increases from 1.1 to 1.6 when Bamford starts.”

A crucial return

The numbers don’t lie – Leeds are simply a better team when Bamford is involved.

Not only does he offer a constant outlet and target up front, but his relentless running and work rate helps the side press and defend from the front.

His persistent injury problems will be a frustration to Marsch, but only because the American coach understands his importance in the side.

Rodrigo did well at the start of the season to fill Bamford’s void, but the Spaniard’s purple patch seems to be over, and it’s a good time for Bamford to return as the side’s first-choice striker.

His time in the treatment room this season has certainly killed all hope he may have had of making the England squad, but Bamford can definitely catch Gareth Southgate’s attention for future tournaments by shining for the remainder of the season.

But for that to happen, Bamford has to stay fit. It’s down to Marsch to manage his minutes, starting with the trip to Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon.

In other Leeds United news, Chris Sutton tips Leeds United loanee Daniel James to be biggest diver at the World Cup with Wales