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Ian Holloway pays tribute to Leeds striker Patrick Bamford

Newly appointed Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway talks during a press conference at Loftus Road on November 16, 2016 in London, England.

Patrick Bamford has scored three goals in the Championship already since replacing Kemar Roofe at Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United.

Patrick Bamford of Leeds United reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brentford at Elland Road on August 21, 2019 in Leeds, England.

Ian Holloway has praised Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford for stepping up after the departure of Kemar Roofe, while speaking to the Mirror.

Leeds fans were concerned and understandably so when top scorer Roofe departed for Anderlecht with just days to go before the transfer window slammed shut earlier in August.

After all, Bamford was hardly a universal hit in his debut season at Elland Road. Nine goals in 16 starts represents an impressive hit rate but a pair of long-term injuries and a tendency to disappear in big games didn’t exactly endear the £7 million signing to the famously demanding Leeds fanbase (Sky Sports).

 

But Bamford already looks like a player reborn under Marcelo Bielsa in the opening weeks of 2019/20. He’s scored three times in four Championship games already and, while he drew a blank in Wednesday’s 1-0 win against Brentford, the 25-year-old appears to have improved drastically in his hold-up play and upper-body strength.

No wonder Holloway is impressed.

Patrick Bamford of Leeds United applauds after the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at the DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday 17th August 2019.

“I really like the look of Leeds. That might sound obvious, but I think their manager has already proved he knows what he’s doing,” said the former QPR and Millwall boss.

“Obviously they lost Kemar Roofe, one of their main goalscorers, but Patrick Bamford has stepped up and they’ve looked great so far.”

It’s not an easy job leading the line for a Bielsa side. Bamford is not only under pressure to find the net on a regular basis but, as a lone striker, he also has to hold the ball up, shrug off defenders and create openings for Mateusz Klich, Pablo Hernandez and co.

Yet Bamford’s form in recent weeks suggests he is up to the task.

Patrick Bamford of Leeds United celebrates after he scores the opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Leeds United at Deepdale on April 09, 2019...

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