By Sean Fisher

12th Nov, 2022 | 7:40am

Phil Hay moots Leeds United signing new striker in January as he shares latest Patrick Bamford verdict

The Athletic’s Phil Hay has raised some serious concerns about Patrick Bamford amid suggestions that Leeds United need a new striker in January.

Bamford is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League this season, and his torrid form has been a huge nuisance to the under-pressure Jesse Marsch.

The 29-year-old has missed a handful of huge chances for the Whites this season and it’s resulted in Marsch dropping him from the starting lineup in Leeds’ back-to-back wins against Liverpool and Bournemouth.

Leeds have a flurry of young strikers coming up through their ranks, but Hay has suggested that a new first-team striker should be on the cards in January.

Speaking via the Phil Hay Show podcast (11 November, 9m30s), he said: “Even if [Mateo] Joseph does look good and you like the look of [Sonny] Perkins and even if [Wilfried] Gnonto has made an impact and [Joe] Gelhardt can play far better, you still have an issue with Patrick Bamford.

“It’s unlikely that he does start [vs Spurs]. So at the moment, he’s looking at going a calendar year without scoring and almost 18 months without completing 90 minutes.

“The idea of relying on him becomes less and less credible as time goes on. It’s not to say that he won’t find his fitness and find his touch and finishing again, but I think it’s a bit of a leap of faith to say that will definitely happen. They’re going to have to face up to that as time goes on and January seems like a good time to do it.”

Expensive loyalty

So far this season, Marsch has kept faith with Bamford and repeatedly stayed loyal to him as his No.1 striker. However, time and time again Bamford has shown that he’s not up to the task.

He looks a shell of the player that scored 17 top-flight goals under Marcelo Bielsa, and in Leeds’ current situation Marsch can’t afford to start a striker that needs five or six chances to find the back of the net.

When the pressure on Marsch was at its highest he didn’t trust Bamford leading the line and that speaks volumes. Rodrigo was given the starting spot v Liverpool and he rewarded Marsch with an early goal.

The more Marsch tries to stay loyal to Bamford the more it’s costing him in goals and points. The American has to be ruthless and cast him to the side for the good of the club.

A new striker is essential in January regardless of Gnonto’s incredible start and the likes of Perkins and Joseph impressing. The youngsters can’t have too much pressure piled on them so early into their careers, so a readymade goalscorer needs to come through the doors in January.

In other Leeds United news, 49ers chiefs jet in to Elland Road for Leeds United January transfer talks