A rather unflattering statistic did the rounds on Saturday after Leeds United were stunned at home by Wigan Athletic for the second time in the space of 12 months.
The most shots off target in the Championship this season? Patrick Bamford (53). The most headed shots off target? Patrick Bamford (23). The most big chances missed? You guessed it. Patrick Bamford (20).
Leeds’ number nine is one of the most divisive players in the club’s recent history.
For every supporter with a glass-half-full mentality who admires Bamford's work rate, the way he leads the line and operates as a link between midfield and attack, you will find three who point to his penchant for missing penalties, skewing headers over the bar and hitting one-on-ones straight at a gracious goalkeeper.
Bamford had seven efforts on goal without finding the back of the net during Saturday’s maddening 1-0 loss at home to a relegation threatened Wigan. And, on the very same weekend, a striker Leeds reportedly wanted to sign during the January transfer window was celebrating his first hat-trick of the season (FootMercato)
Ibrahim Sissoko was at his barnstorming best during Niort’s thrilling 4-4 draw with Paris FC. Opening the scoring with a thumping header straight out of the Lee Chapman playbook, the giant centre-forward then converted two ice-cool spot-kicks, taking his tally to 11 goals in 19 games.
It would be a little premature to suggest, on the back of one performance in the French second tier, that Sissoko would have put Wigan to the sword at Elland Road.
But with Bamford drawing yet another blank, and with Jean-Kevin Augustin forced to bide his time after months of inactivity at Monaco, the irony of Sissoko’s hat-trick heroics will not be lost on anyone at Elland Road.
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