By Pranav Shahaney

1st Sep, 2021 | 7:10pm

Tony Dorigo praises Bielsa for Bamford England call-up

Tony Dorigo has waxed lyrical of Marcelo Bielsa for Patrick Bamford’s development at Leeds United since his move to Elland Road.

The 27-year-old was called up by Gareth Southgate last week for the England squad and could be handed his first senior cap in a few days.

His performances have drastically improved since last season and Dorigo, an LUTV pundit and former Whites defender, has credited Bielsa for the Englishman’s game.

In his Yorkshire Evening Post column, “He looks to me like one of those players who needs someone to put an arm around him and really believe in him.

“It’s a strange combination, given Bielsa and the way he coaches, but Patrick has come to Leeds, changed his game, improved and developed that aggressive streak.

“An England call up has taken a while but it’s brilliant to see. He probably just about deserved it last season because an English striker scoring that many goals should be there or thereabouts.”

Seamless understanding

Last summer, Rodrigo’s arrival for a club-record fee looked like it spelled the end of Bamford’s Elland Road career, at least as a first-choice striker.

In the Whites’ final Championship campaign, the Englishman endured a rather shaky spell and failed to show his ruthless streak in front of goal.

He underperformed his Expected Goals (xG) by a great deal, but Bielsa worked extremely hard with him in the off season and asked him to study the movements of Erling Haaland which has seen him dramatically improve his performance. [Ornstein and Chapman Podcast]

He’s looked more confident with the ball and without the ball, the runs he makes often leave the opposition off guard.

Bielsa uses this to Leeds’ advantage and asks his players to play slightly more direct as it not only helps stretch the opposition but also plays to Bamford’s strengths.

We’re hoping he has a good international break and bags his first England goal in the next week.

In other Leeds United news, BT Sport pundit makes claim about ‘Almost obsessed’ Bielsa as Leeds agree new signing