We moved into 2021 with Leeds United building on a good first campaign in the Premier League and looking to go even better second time around.
We added a few youngsters to the mix in Janaury, including the very exciting 18-year-old Colombian striker Leonel Larrahondo. While young defender Ben Godfrey, who hadn’t progressed as I’d hoped, was sold on to Hamburg for £6.5 million.
A sticky start to 2021
Again, January did not go to plan, as we started 2021 by conceding 12 goals in just four matches. A 3-0 loss at Southampton meant an FA Cup third round exit for the second season in a row, followed by a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal then consecutive 3-3 draws at home to Southampton then at West Ham. But we got back to winning ways with two victories to end January, with the free-scoring Patrick Bamford’s early goal sealing a 1-0 win over Swansea City then a 2-0 win at Huddersfield thanks to Jack Clarke and an Alfie Mawson own-goal.
But that proved to be our last victory for two months, with a run of four defeats and two draws including a 5-2 thumping at home to Liverpool and 3-1 losses at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Bamford leads the way
The goals kept flowing as we eventually got back to winning ways in a 5-3 thriller at home to Watford. That man Bamford was the hero once again, bagging four goals to put us 4-0 ahead inside an hour only for our leaky defence to let the visitors back into it with three goals in seven minutes, before Clarke settled the nerves with a late win.
We followed that up with a 2-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion, with Bamford and Jamie Shackleton scoring, then a defeat by the same scoreline at Bournemouth. Then a thumping 4-0 win over Everton with braces from both Bamford and Rodrigo De Paul was followed by a defeat by the same scoreline at Manchester City, in which Leroy Sane scored twice.
Bamford kept his impressive goal tally going by scoring twice in a 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion, before a final day defeat at Chelsea thanks to an Alvaro Morata double.
We finished the campaign as the best of the rest in a strong seventh position, eight points behind Tottenham in the final European spot.
But there’s no doubting that Bamford was the main man. He had been absolutely superb all season and finished as not only the top scorer in the Premier League but also across the whole of Europe, with 27 goals in 32 appearances.
That unsurprisingly also earned him the personal accolades of Footballer of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year. What a season for Patrick Bamford.
Join us next time as growing financial strength should see an exciting summer at Elland Road ahead of a third campaign in the Premier League.