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Darren Bent backs 26-year-old to stay at Leeds United for the next five years

Former Premier League ace Darren Bent believes Patrick Bamford could establish himself as the first-choice striker at Leeds United on a long-term basis.

The former Chelsea graduate made the move to Leeds from Middlesbrough during the summer of 2018 and he has since scored 22 goals from 58 Championship outings.

While he has not been overly impressive with his goalscoring contribution, Bamford has still managed to command a regular starting role with manager Marcelo Bielsa being an admirer of his tireless workrate.

Speaking to Football Insider, Bent said that Bamford could realistically remain with the Yorkshire outfit for the next five years, considering he has the confidence of the head coach, who is prepared to play him despite his inconsistent displays every now and then.

“You know what, I think it is a realistic target because he’s playing for a manager who fully appreciates everything that he does,” The former England international told.

“I don’t think it’s a case of him having to worry: ‘What can I do?’ because clearly, even when things have not gone well, Bielsa’s still played him, still really likes him.

“For me I think he’s in a situation where he can stay there for the next five years. We understand he’s missed big chances, all strikers miss big chances but it’s his work rate that Bielsa loves.”

The 26-year-old has netted 13 goals from 36 games during the current season. In the first half of the campaign, it appeared that he could be replaced by Eddie Nketiah up front after the Arsenal loanee came up with a couple of key goals off the bench.

However, it was not the case with Bielsa continuing to keep his faith in Bamford to lead the line. As a result, Nketiah was recalled by the north London giants at the turn of the year.

The Championship leaders opted to sign Jean-Kevin Augustin on loan from RB Leipzig as a replacement but the Frenchman has hardly made any impact with less than 60 minutes of league action.

Leeds are presently seven points ahead of third-placed Fulham in the pursuit of automatic promotion and it remains to be seen whether they can end their 16-year wait for a top-flight comeback.

Bamford has barely impressed in the Premier League in the past with just one goal from 27 appearances and he will be hoping to redeem himself, suppose Leeds are back in the top tier.

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