By Daniel Feliciano

2nd Jan, 2023 | 8:45pm

Patrick Bamford ruled out of Leeds United clash v West Ham United - Phil Hay

Patrick Bamford is not expected to play for Leeds United when they face West Ham on Wednesday (4 January) night in the Premier League, says Phil Hay.

The Whites striker picked up a groin injury during the World Cup break and underwent surgery before falling ill, and is yet to feature at all since the season resumed on Boxing Day.

Speaking on the Phil Hay show (2 January, 10:54), the Athletic journalist admitted that he is not expected to feature in the next game against the Hammers at Elland Road either, while the club are still trying to figure out where Adam Forshaw’s fitness levels are at.

“You saw Forshaw on for 45 minutes against Newcastle, but off at half-time even though the game was still goalless and Marsch was saying he was still trying to work out where we are physically with him,” he said.

“No sign of Bamford. Not expecting him to play against West Ham either.”

Typical

When was the last time Leeds went into a Premier League game and fans were expecting to see Bamford among the starting lineup?

It seems now as though the expectation is that he isn’t available rather than he is more often than not, and that is not normal for a professional athlete who is still considered to be first-choice at a club.

It further highlights the need for a new striker in the January transfer window for Marsch, so that he can have a reliable source of goals up front regularly rather than sitting and hoping for Bamford to get fit for two games before his body breaks down again.

At this point it’s been safe to say for a while that Bamford simply can’t be relied upon at Leeds anymore and attention has to start drifting away from his return and instead towards replacements.

He won’t be missed against West Ham because we’re so used to being without him, so the pressure remains on Rodrigo to find the net.

In other Leeds news, Mark Lawrenson predicts Premier League clash between Leeds and West Ham