Leeds United FC

Patrick Bamford deserves a place in England's Euro 2020 squad

By Harry Symeou
May 10, 2021, 3:15 PM GMT+1
Bamford's enjoying a stellar season
Bamford's enjoying a stellar season / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

When Leeds United won promotion back to the Premier League, many fans questioned whether or not Patrick Bamford could cut it in the top-flight. Looking back on it now, what were they worried about?

The 27-year-old has scored 15 league goals and provided his teammates with 8 assists, keeping Leeds afloat and forcing his way into the England conversation ahead of this summer's rescheduled European Championships.

According to The Athletic, Bamford 'secretly' extended his contract at Elland Road last summer, meaning he is contracted until beyond 2022. The discovery was made after close inspection of the FA's intermediary transactions list.

From a statistical perspective, this has been the most productive season of Bamford's career, he has the full trust of Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa and has at long last found a home in Yorkshire. But has he done enough to warrant a place in Gareth Southgate's squad this summer?

Of those eligible to play for England, only Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have scored more goals than Bamford in the Premier League this season. The Spurs star is way out in front on 21 but only a single goal separates the Leeds and Everton strikers.

Over the years, Bamford has been criticised for missing too many chances and you can certainly make a case he should score more but often the other qualities he brings to the attack are overlooked - perhaps unfairly.

The former Chelsea forward possesses the ability to run in behind, but is equally capable of dropping into deeper areas in order to create spaces for his teammates to exploit. His clever movement regularly sees him get on the end of crosses and cutbacks.

Patrick Bamford, Mateusz Klich
Bamford was on target against Spurs at the weekend / Pool/Getty Images

Bamford is yet to earn a cap for England at senior level and while it would come as a shock to many if he was to force his way into the squad ahead of Euro 2020, it wouldn't be undeserved. Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins was called up to the recent squad to face San Marino, Albania and Poland despite having scored fewer goals this season.

Granted, Bielsa's Leeds team are set up to play in a way that utilises Bamford's skillset and that gets the maximum out of him, but the fruitful output is clear for all to see. The decision to leave him 'off the plane' would not be based on merit because his performances have certainly been worthy of a spot.

In tournament football, player profiles are important and there's a need to have different options at your disposal. Bamford is the all round centre-forward capable of scoring goals, providing assists, dropping deep and running in behind. His similarities to Kane may be what keeps him out of the squad, unfortunately.