Patrick Bamford is back on the training pitch ahead of his potential Leeds United return.
Leeds have been without Bamford since September’s draw with Newcastle United due to an ankle injury.
Marcelo Bielsa’s talisman is edging his way back to contention now, though, with the club dropping a video of him and Robin Koch in light training.
Here, Kris (FA5), Toby (Neutral) and Alfie (N12) discuss the 28-year-old’s pending return and what it means for Leeds:
This is huge for us, especially when you look at the run of fixtures we’re about to get stuck into.
The lack of goals in the side in Bamford’s absence has obviously been a major issue with his injury, but everything he brings to the team as a focal point in and out of possession has been magnified recently.
We’ve shown that we don’t really have a direct replacement when he’s not playing and the alternative isn’t nearly as effective.
We’ll have to wait and see if it sees him back in the squad at the weekend or whether he’s involved in the under-23s, but this is great to see.
My main concern throughout his spell on the sidelines was that we had no indication of the severity of his problem, but knowing he’s back in training is brilliant.
This does feel like an absolutely massive boost for Leeds moving forward.
In Bamford’s absence, the Whites have looked like they badly lack a serious threat in front of goal, and that has not helped them when it comes to their poor start to the season.
But with Bamford now evidently making progress towards a return to action, his form last season suggests Leeds are close to getting a player back who can make a real impact for them in the final third.
Not only should that help with the contribution Bamford himself will make, but it should also give everyone else around the club, from the players to fans, something of a lift as well.
As a result, you feel that this latest update can only be a good thing for those of a Leeds persuasion.
Bamford’s return is going to be big for Leeds, when it comes.
It’s great to see Bamford back on the training pitch, even if it is in what looks like really light training.
We know that Bielsa has such high demands when it comes to the fitness of his players, so my gut tells me it is going to be a while still before he’s back leading the line.
In that sense, it is maybe a mid-term boost rather than short-term.
However, there’s little denying that Leeds have missed Bamford at the top of the field. Nobody has been able to replicate what he does out of possession or in terms of his goals.
Leeds need to start finding the back of the net a bit more regularly, which will come when Bamford is back.