Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford has had an incredible start to the season – seven goals in eight games has seen him just one off the top of the charts in the Premier League.
He’s level with Harry Kane and just one behind Son Heung-min, Jamie Vardy, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mohamed Salah.
That’s the perfect way to set your doubters straight.
But Bamford himself thinks it should be eight (he’s still bewildered by the goal that was disallowed against Crystal Palace).
And he’s his own toughest critic. Talking in a brilliant interview on The Athletic on Friday, Bamford was talking about his first Premier League hat-trick in the 3-0 win against Aston Villa.
“That was a good night. A really good night.
“For the last 10 minutes after the hat-trick goal, I was kind of like… wallowing about. I was almost dreaming through it.
“It was a strange feeling, on the pitch knowing that I’d scored a hat-trick. I kind of took my foot off the gas a little bit which, watching back, I was a little bit disappointed about.
“But I think the fact that I’d scored a hat-trick in the Premier League, and I’d waited a long time for that, I’ll probably let myself off.”
Bamford and the Leeds fans haven’t always seen eye-to-eye.
Strikers are judged on goals and Bamford wasn’t scoring enough in the Championship to satisfy everyone.
Even talkSPORT got in on the act ahead of the Premier League season, asking on Twitter if he was good enough for the top-flight.
They’re only ever looking for a reaction and got one from Bamford himself.
And so it starts 😴😴😴 https://t.co/ABM22xLfa5
— Patrick Bamford (@Patrick_Bamford) July 20, 2020
However, Bielsa’s persistence with him and his own faith in his ability has paid off. He’s been talked about for an England call-up this season and if he can carry on scoring at this rate he could be a surprise inclusion for the Euros next summer.
Even Bamford himself might have thought – at 27 – that this would have been beyond him at the start of the season.
He’s a really eloquent player, too. That still amuses Leeds fans – mainly through the Bamford parody Twitter account – but we loved hearing about him “dreaming” through the last 10 minutes of the Aston Villa game, with the score at 3-0 and the match ball already his.
The fact he’s disappointed shows his hunger.
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