By Mark Smith

25th Feb, 2023 | 12:48pm

Jeff Stelling questions if Patrick Bamford will be dropped for Leeds United v Southampton on Sky Sports

Jeff Stelling has questioned whether Javi Gracia will axe Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford for the massive Premier League clash against Southampton.

The Sky Sports host shared that Leeds have not scored in four of their last five games, with zero shots on target in that embarrassing defeat at Everton.

Stelling was impressed by Gracia staying at Watofrd for so long given their awful sacking record, with another huge task on his hands to turn the fortunes around in West Yorkshire.

Speaking live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday [25 February, 12:34], Stelling questioned whether or not Gracia will make some big changes at Elland Road.

“Javi Gracia,” he said. “Not Leeds’ first choice, but I tell you what, he survived a year-and-a-half at Watford, he must be blooming good. He lasted 66 games, which was the most since Gianfranco Zola.

“He says that he really hasn’t had time to change things so far. Leeds haven’t scored in four of their last five, they didn’t have a shot on target against Everton, does he leave Patrick Bamford out? He looked short on confidence.”

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Big call.

This would be a huge call to make from Gracia.

A new manager coming in will want to let his squad know that they will not be let off with the same old rubbish performances, only to keep their spots.

The only problem is that the man behind Bamford is Georginio Rutter while Rodrigo remains out injured at Thorp Arch, and the French youngster is still bedding in.

Rutter has not exactly hit the ground running so far in West Yorkshire, with his talent very raw and not exactly screaming out that he was worth the club record fee.

It would be a massive call to bring Rutter in and put that pressure on his shoulders, especially when Bamford appears to be back fully fit, he just needs that one goal to set him going.

Elland Road is going to be bouncing, regardless of which starting XI is selected by Gracia, so those players need to use that, and not be daunted by it.

Here we go, another bumpy ride is ahead.

In other Leeds United news, the club is now eyeing a golden opportunity to sign a 140-goal striker in the summer

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