Jesse Marsch revealed before Leeds’ 4-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday (via The Mirror) that he expects the center-forward, who has not played since rupturing his plantar fascia in the 3-2 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in March, to return to the pitch this week – implying the 28-year-old could be in line for a return to action against Arsenal this weekend.
“Patrick has been making progress and we are still confident we can see him later in the season,” the 48-year-old manager stated of the England international’s injury recovery. I suspect and anticipate that he will be on the field next week. Let’s see what happens, and while we must be careful, we are all positive about Patrick at this stage.”
Given how essential a member of the Leeds squad Bamford has proven to be in recent years, the news that the striker appears set to return to first-team action sooner rather than later is sure to have got Marsch excited.
While a series of ailments have severely limited the 28-year-game old’s time this season – he has made just nine Premier League appearances, scoring two goals – the forward’s returns last time out underlined just how important he is in the White’s attack.
Indeed, in his 38 Premier League appearances last season, the £18m-rated striker starred for Leeds, scoring 17 goals, providing seven assists, and generating five huge chances for his teammates, while also taking an average of 2.8 shots and making 0.8 vital passes per game.
With these results, the £74k-per-week Englishman averaged a very respectable SofaScore match rating of 7.01, establishing him as the Whites’ seventh-best player in the league and helping Leeds secure a top-half finish.
As a result, if Bamford can re-establish this kind of goal-scoring form upon his return to action, the center-forward might be the difference between survival and relegation back to English football’s second-tier come to the conclusion of the season.