The Leeds United ‘question mark’ in the Premier League amid return of fans

Patrick Bamford’s ability to replicate his 17-goal haul in the Premier League last season is a big question mark hanging over Leeds United on the eve of the 2021/22 campaign.

That is the verdict of former Sunderland, Aston Villa and Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen who fears he may struggle with the return of fans inside stadiums this season.

The 27-year-old forward was in scintillating form last season as his goals helped fire newly promoted Leeds to a brilliant ninth placed finish.

There was even talk of the former Chelsea youngster being called up to the England squad for the European Championships and the challenge now is for him to replicate those sorts of numbers this term.

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But given Bamford last scored 17 goals or more in a single season in 2014/15 prior to last term, Sorensen harbours doubts over his ability to replicate that form.

“For me, the question mark is Patrick Bamford,” Sorensen told Optus Sport’s GegenPod.

“Can he come with that amount of goals again? I don’t know how many times we have talked about his confidence and he struggles when the fans are there.

“Rodrigo. Can he be a complimentary piece in that jigsaw? Without the goals he scored that season Leeds will struggle to push towards that top six.”

Thomas Sorensen while at Sunderland
Thomas Sorensen while at Sunderland

Sorensen was joined on the podcast by former Leeds forward Michael Bridges, though, who had a much brighter outlook for the Whites ahead of the new campaign.

“Bielsa doesn’t have mediocrity. He doesn’t accept second best,” Bridges added.

“The players know that, the staff know that and he has everybody on their toes.

“With what he brings to Leeds United with the fitness levels and everybody knows their roles and they have Firpo coming in from Barcelona as well.

“Getting Harrison in from Man City is a big signing but I just feel there could be one more where I would like to see and that would be a striker.

“Bamford is a goalscorer but Rodrigo is not the man to replace him. He has been absolutely brilliant when he has been dropped into the deeper position with his work-rate, energy levels and movement.

“The big one for me is keeping Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips is still there – and what a Euros he had.

“Some of these players have not played in front of Elland Road at a full house.

“I was chatting about the European nights when Lucas Radebe scored in the last minute to get us through to the quarter-finals, Bowyer scored against AC Milan to make it 1-0 at Elland Road – it is a very scary place for the opposition to go to when Elland Road is rocking.

“I feel that everything is geared up for Leeds to have another good season.”

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