By George Overhill

27th May, 2023 | 9:40am

Leeds United transfer news: Phil Hay reacts to suggestion Patrick Bamford is done at Elland Road in 'need for a fresh start' verdict

Patrick Bamford’s “need for a fresh start seems pretty apparent” as his Leeds United career looks like it may be coming to an end, says Phil Hay.

The chances of the English striker being fit to feature in the unlikely escape attempt against Tottenham on Sunday (28 May) are remote thanks to yet another injury.

And with fitness issues plaguing the past two seasons while his importance to the team has remained so high thanks to the recruitment policy Hay believes it may be time to “do the right thing” and let him move on.

Asked if the last of Bamford has already been seen at Leeds United on The Phil Hay Show (26 May, 7m 20s) he answered: “I almost feel like they’re going to have to save him from himself, or do the right thing with him.

“Because it’s been a struggle for so long, this, for him that it’s definitely affected the mood of the crowd towards him.

“Without a doubt the injuries have affected his game, his ability to make an impact…

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“I think not just for him, I think for quite a few people, the need for a fresh start seems pretty apparent. It doesn’t seem to be totally fair on him again next season to be saying, ‘Listen, we’re going to rely on you now’.

Run its course

Maybe if a proper replacement was signed and Bamford was able to return to fitness as a back up option there is scope for him to get back to his best somewhere down the line.

But at his age and with recent history at Elland Road it feels unlikely that he will ever be able to take the pressure off himself even if the fans do.

He was crucial before his injury problems but they have ruined the best part of two years, and part of the blame has to go to the hierarchy for failing or refusing to bring in another number nine throughout that time.

Were it not for Rodrigo’s form this season that would have seemed all the more glaring, and while Willy Gnonto proved to be a revelation after his arrival as a late consolation in the previous summer window it shouldn’t detract from the fact that he isn’t a striker anyway.

And to then splash out a club-record sum on Georginio Rutter in January when the young Frenchman wasn’t ready to shoulder the load, and isn’t really a like-for-like Bamford stand-in anyway, was another major decision which left responsibility heaped on the 29-year-old.

If he has already played his last game for the club it wouldn’t be the way he or the supporters wanted the relationship to end, but it may just be better for all parties to go their separate ways and further down the line both can look back with fond memories of the good times under Marcelo Bielsa.

In other Leeds United news, one attacking ace could decide to leave this summer if his best friend does with agents thought to be already looking for exit deals.