27 June 2020 16:42
Patrick Bamford is Leeds United's de facto #1 striker. He fits into the mould of what Marcelo Bielsa requires of a frontman to lead the line in his favoured set-up. His importance to the formation is such that he is likely one of the first names on the teamsheet. He's a solid striker, if not prolific. He's no Chris Wood in that when he scores, Leeds win.
Although he leads the Whites with 13 goals, not all fans are convinced that he is the fan to fire them to success in the Premier League. These fans point to his inconsistency in front of goal. Whilst scoring 13 times, he has also spurned a league-leading 27 'Big Chances' – a lead of 10 over the nearest 'challenger'. For this campaign, with seven games between the Whites and a possible Premier League promotion, Bamford is going to be the main focal point of the Leeds United attack – starting with Fulham today. However, next season is not so certain and assured. There is some noise that Leeds United are looking to swerve their way out of an agreement to sign Jean-Kevin Augustin for an eye-watering £22.4million. Here are three other strikers that the Whites could look at and bring in cheaper than Augustin. The Young Player to Watch Janni Serra (Holsten Kiel – £2.07m rated): Serra plays in Germany's 2.Bundesliga competition with Holstein Kiel. The 6ft 4in 22-year-old signed for his current club from Dortmund's second-team set-up. He scored 7 goals and provided 3 assists in 19 appearances this season. Serra's Smartmap for this season shows him largely featuring through a central channel. A lot of his passes in the attacking third predominantly cluster in the left quadrant of the field and mainly appear to be short passes (blue blocks). He is involved in 46% of Kiel's moves that end in a shot. The Former International hitting the straps Taxiarchis Fountas (Rapid Vienna – £1.44m rated): Fountas plays in the Austrian Bundesliga and has been at Vienna for just one season since his free transfer from SKN St Polten. The 24-year-old Greek scored 18 goals and provided 5 assists in 25 appearances this season. Fountas' Smartmap for this season shows him very active in the attacking midfield third of the field, the first area of the opposition half. This shows that he is willing to drop back and help build-up play. This can be seen by the volume of his passing with a wide range of short (blue blocks), medium (green blocks) and long (yellow blocks) of passes. The majority of his shots (the white blocks) are within the penalty area and central to the goal. However, he is also ready to shoot from outside the area. He is involved in 45% of Vienna's moves that end in a shot. The one who's been there and done it Teemu Pukki (Norwich – £7.2m rated): Pukki joined Norwich from Brondby ahead of the Canaries promotion campaign in 2018/19. His goals too them up that season and without his 11 goals in the Premier League this season, Norwich would have already been relegated. Pukki's Smartmap for this season shows him very active around the attacking third in front of the opposition goal. The map shows that he prefers to drop deeper, playing short passes (blue blocks) in build-up play. He also tends to favour drifting to the left of the field where again he prefers to play mainly short passes. The majority of his shots (the white blocks) are within the penalty area and spread across the area's width. However, he is also ready to shoot from outside the area, favouring the left side of the D. His highlight metrics show that he is rated an 82 for his link-up passing, 41 for dribbling, 97 for receiving the ball in the box and 93 for shooting. He has scored 0.13 goals per shot versus an xG per shot of 0.12. He has a 42% rating for expected goals when receiving the ball and an 84% involvement in moves that end in a goal. He is involved in 49% of Norwich's moves that end in a shot. Graphics and metrics/data used by kind permission of Smarterscout. An explanation of the terms used can be found on their FAQ page Should Leeds United be looking at options other than Patrick Bamford?