Patrick Bamford's return from injury could see Sunderland sign former Leeds loanee once more: Opinion | OneFootball

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Football League World

·29 September 2023

Patrick Bamford's return from injury could see Sunderland sign former Leeds loanee once more: Opinion

Article image:Patrick Bamford's return from injury could see Sunderland sign former Leeds loanee once more: Opinion

Highlights

  • Patrick Bamford's return from injury could benefit both Leeds United and Sunderland, as he has the potential to dislodge other strikers and contribute goals.
  • Despite underwhelming performances in the past two seasons, Bamford has a proven track record of scoring goals and could be a valuable asset to Leeds if he regains his form.
  • Joe Gelhardt, a young player for Leeds, may benefit from a loan move to Sunderland in order to gain valuable game time and development opportunities that Leeds cannot currently provide.

Patrick Bamford has been dogged by injuries over the past two seasons - but his return to the pitch could spell good news for both Leeds United and Sunderland.

The striker was electric at the height of Marcelo Bielsa's spell in Yorkshire, firing Leeds to a top-half finish with some outstanding performances at Elland Road. But the Argentine's departure saw Bamford quickly fade to the sideline with injuries and a loss of form. Whilst it's easier to represent that in the Championship, he will have to fight for his place - though if he's successful, it will spell good news for Sunderland.


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With Georginio Rutter beginning to fire on all cylinders in the second tier following his failed Premier League stint last season, and the introduction of Joel Piroe coinciding with Leeds becoming a proficient attacking side, it will already be tough for strikers to come in and dislodge the duo from their starting place.

Bamford is the next best star equipped to do that. It's easy to forget that, despite his underwhelming past two seasons in which he has recorded just eight goals in 41 appearances, Bamford scored 17 league goals in Leeds' return Premier League season - and that came with 16 in the Championship the season before as he became a vital player for the Whites under Bielsa.

As a result, this likely puts him as third-choice striker until he can force his way back into the side. And, with Wilfried Gnonto arguably their fourth-best striker despite his favourite position being on the wing, it makes you wonder what the future holds for Joe Gelhardt.

The youngster shot to prominence for Leeds in the 2021-22 season after joining from Wigan in the lockdown period, but he’s yet to score for them in the league in over a year - and by being trusted to start and not returning the goods, it’s punted him down the pecking order.

A loan to Sunderland transpired last year in which he notched three goals in 18 games for the Black Cats - and with none of Sunderland’s current strike force scoring so far this season, it’s left them relying on wingers and midfielders to bare the brunt.

Jack Clarke has five in the league, whilst Jobe Bellingham, Pierre Ekwah and Dan Neil all have two so far - but none of their goals have come from strikers Luis Semedo, Mason Barstow or Nazariy Rusyn.

Of course, the aforementioned trio are all young and will take time to adapt to a starting role in the second-tier - but with Gelhardt having already done a stint in the north-east, it's a familiar option for Tony Mowbray to select.

Would Joe Gelhardt be available for loan to Sunderland?

Gelhardt's case is a typical scenario of a young player who won't be afforded the chance to develop if he doesn't move from Leeds in the winter window, should Piroe, Rutter and Bamford all be fit to play.

The Liverpudlian is at a vital stage of his career where he needs game time - and Leeds, when fully fit, can't offer him that.

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