Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has attempted to explain why he continues to pick Patrick Bamford over Eddie Nketiah.
Over a month and a half after Nketiah’s loan spell with Leeds began, he’s still yet to start a single Championship game for the club. He’s appeared as a substitute in every match since his league debut against Brentford, but he still can’t buy a start.
Meanwhile, Bamford can seemingly do no wrong in Bielsa’s eyes. The striker started his ninth league game in a row on Saturday, and he made it four starts without a goal in the process.
Bielsa answered questions from reporters on why he keeps putting faith in the Chelsea academy graduate over Nketiah.
“Patrick gives things to the team that Eddie can also give,” Bielsa said. “Patrick is a goal scorer, Eddie is as well. Their difference in style is not that big because both of them can fill the forward position with the same efficiency.
“Patrick’s initial advantage over Eddie is he has had more time with us, has more experience and is older than Eddie. What you are talking about, this issue is one of the things supporters and the press like.
“If Bamford doesn’t play, everyone will ask, ‘Why Bamford doesn’t play and why Eddie?’ and if they both play, they will ask, ‘Why doesn’t Mateusz Klich or Adam Forshaw play? It’s a difficult issue.”
Picking a striker certainly does become a difficult issue when you don’t play the one that’s in form. Nketiah scored one and won a penalty in 20 minutes against Barnsley, then found himself on the bench again for the next two games.
It’s no surprise the striker couldn’t find the equaliser or winner in his next two sub appearances when any momentum he builds is immediately halted by Bielsa’s team selection.
As it stands, Nketiah has scored twice and won one penalty since Bamford was last involved in a goal – over a month ago. Let’s look forward to seeing Bamford in the starting lineup again on Tuesday.