Patrick Bamford: Premier League credentials, Marcelo Bielsa and a striker’s


Doubters will doubt, haters will hate, that’s just what they do.

But, in the case of Patrick Bamford, there has been plenty of ammunition to embolden the naysayers questioning his suitability to Premier League football.

As he prepared to embark on another chapter of top-flight football having helped Leeds win promotion, the 27-year-old had just a solitary Premier League goal to his name from 27 appearances.


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It’s a record and a stick that has been used to beat Bamford. ‘He can’t cut in the Premier League’, ‘he’s better suited to the Championship’. The verdict followed a familiar pattern.

So when Bamford capped a breathtaking start to life back in the Premier League with a hat-trick against Aston Villa, thoughts immediately turned to the striker silencing his critics.

Bamford admits he does have a point to prove in the Premier League, but not to who you might think. Six goals in the opening six games have taken on the more significant role of confirming what he knew to be true, that he can operate at the very highest level.

“Of course I had a point to prove,” he tells Sky Sports. “I played a bit-part, minutes here and there, when I played in the Premier League before and never really got a proper chance at it.

“There was probably a lot of people that doubted me but, more than anything, proving it to myself [was important]. I always knew I could play at this level, so it was more for me to prove to myself that I can do well here.



ASTON VILLA 0-3 LEEDS




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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leeds’ win over Aston Villa in the Premier League

“If I’d have scored three tap-ins [against Villa], I’d have been just as happy! The second two were nice goals, with the third especially a nice team goal, it started from the goalkeeper and we built up play very well.

“It was a good job I capped off that attack with a goal, it made it more special, and finishing off a hat-trick with it was nice.

“I’ve probably been given a bit of stick in the past for having a relaxed body language but sometimes as a striker it helps having that calmness when you’re in those situations.”

PATRICK BAMFORD HEATMAP COMPARISON

There’s no secret that calmness in moments when defences are panicking is a trait all top strikers possess. As he admits, it’s a trait that has come naturally to Bamford. As for the other factors behind his recent success, there are no secrets there either – just good old hard work and perseverance.

“There hasn’t been a secret, it’s just been working hard,” he adds. “I’ve been doing things I’ve always…



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