David Prutton: Patrick Bamford positivity, Leeds United's outstanding performers and possible January transfer window moves

Yorkshire Evening Post columnist David Prutton gives his latest Leeds United thoughts in his weekly column

Sunday, 17th November 2019, 11:52 am
Updated Sunday, 17th November 2019, 11:55 am
Leeds United in action at Elland Road. (Getty)

It was good for Patrick Bamford to get back in amongst the goals in the 2-1 win against Blackburn Rovers.

All of the other players piled in on him when he scored which was a nice little touch and he seems like a very popular member of the squad which is good.

It was imperative that he scored at that moment in time and then quickly had a hand in the second goal scored through Jack Harrison, so hopefully he will have skipped into the international break and come out ready to go again.

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I don’t really know how Marcelo Bielsa trains the players in these off weeks but you get the feeling that the international break and rest would be much appreciated.

I don’t know whether he is going to give them time off or get some other work in their legs but Bamford was probably right in saying that Leeds had earned the break which probably comes at a good time.

It’s quite a unique thing with Leeds in that it’s not just the physical output, it’s the mental and emotional output because of what the expectation levels are and where the fans and the club deem themselves to be heading towards.

Leeds are now one point better off than they were at this stage last season and comparing the side now to then is difficult.

We have seen them really dominate teams this season and create lots of chances which I think is what Bielsa is happy about.

What we always said coming into this season was that teams would see them coming after last season and whether they could deal with that.

In certain games they have dealt with that and in certain games they haven’t and the challenge for Leeds United in this division will never diminish until they actually get promoted so it’s something they are going to have to deal with.

You look at the teams around Leeds with West Brom two points clear at the top and we presumed that the Whites should be up and around there with the firepower that they have got. But they still give teams chances.

Preston – who Leeds are level on points with – have been slightly more of a surprise package from what we have seen so far but my goodness when they are on song they are a very good footballing side and that is something that Leeds have got to be wary of because maybe they are operating under a lesser weight of expectation which is doing them a favour at this moment in time.

It would be great to be a large number of points ahead of everybody else at this stage of the season, but if not then the next best thing is just to be competitive and in the mix.

If you are not going to be running away with it then at least you are not miles off it which is exactly where they are now.

Looking at who has excelled for Leeds so far this season, Ben White and Kalvin Phillips have been very good and what we have seen of Ben is a footballer of a certain standard and a certain upbringing that has knitted in nicely with what Leeds want to see.

Yes, the fans like blood and thunder ie Pontus Jansson, but they also like cultured and composed players, which is what Ben has been.

And with Kalvin, he just keeps coming year on year but as much as we look at that and say well done, if you are Leeds fan I think you have still got to be wary that we are coming up to January.

It might again be a position where we look at how well the players have done and where Leeds might need to strengthen but also the vultures come swooping around and if you are a pessimist that’s the way you have got to look at it.

It’s a case of getting to the other side of January with this squad intact and any additions would be great.

In terms of possible incomings in January, Marcelo seems fairly set in his ways.

He has brought Eddie Nketiah in on loan from Arsenal who we know is a player who can score goals yet still he has not started a league game, albeit he was going to start until getting injured.

But because of the way Marcelo prepares and trains his side, whoever Leeeds look to bring in in January would have to be up to speed pretty quickly if they wanted to come in as first choice.

I’m sure they will be quite prudent from that point of view.

I think it’s always good to have creative players and who knows where Leeds would have ended up if they had got Daniel James over the line from Swansea City back in January.

Had that move not collapsed on transfer deadline day it might have been a different story in terms of how the season ended.

You have got to keep half an eye on that to see if there is someone out there.

The January window is very, very precarious but of course a goalscorer would also be great but you pay a premium on that when it comes to the winter window.

And also if Bielsa does seem to be set in his ways then if you are bringing people in to come and sit on the bench then what kind of quality are you going to get?

That’s why it is both fascinating and potentially horrifying if you are a Leeds fan with regards to who might walk through the door.