Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford has divided the Whites’ fanbase following an ear-cupping celebration.
The gesture followed Bamford netting the opener in Leeds’ friendly win over Premier League side Nottingham Forest.
Steve Cooper’s side evaded the drop last term while the Whites could not.
Bamford was far from his prolific best during the last two campaigns and was indisposed due to injury for a vast majority of the 2021-22 season.
The 29-year-old forward has failed to hit double figures since the Whites’ first season back in the top flight.
A Nottingham Forest youth product, he managed to get Leeds’ first goal of the ongoing pre-season campaign.
Bamford capitalized on a poor back-pass from Joe Worrall to round the keeper and score.
He cupped his ears immediately afterwards in the Pirelli Stadium, drawing the ire of the Elland Road faithful.
Bamford is no stranger to criticism having scored just once in the Premier League before joining the Yorkshire-based side in 2018.
His performances reached another level under Marcelo Bielsa, playing a prominent part in their promotional push.
Much more was expected of the striker after a successful season in the top flight as Leeds became the neutral’s team during the 2020-21 season.
Some of the criticism previously leveled at Bamford focused on his inability to reprise that form.
The responses that came flooding in on this occasion called him contemptible for his celebration.
There were a few references to the crucial chances that Bamford had missed during the previous campaign.
It is unclear at this time whether Bamford performed the gesture right in front of his own fans or those of the side he spent some of his formative years with.
As another stint in the Championship beckons, Bamford opted to stay put at Elland Road while five of his teammates chose to leave on season-long loans.
Robin Koch, Brenden Aaronson, Marc Roca, Diego Llorente, and Rasmus Kristensen all departed for pastures new this summer.
Bamford is under contract with the Yorkshire side until the summer of 2026 and is still there in what is clearly a difficult moment for the club.
The latter four are all contracted to the Whites until either 2026 or 2027.
Bamford is not averse to spending time in the Championship once more and the forward will endeavour to make it a short stint.
Last season’s top-scorer Rodrigo recently joined Qatari side Al-Rayyan.
Presently, Leeds lack any other proven goal-getter, so Farke will hope that Bamford can recapture his earlier form.