Patrick Bamford took his tally to 12 goals in the Premier League on Monday night as Leeds United earned a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace – strengthening his claims for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England side. Ex-Leeds man Andy Couzens has told LeedsUnited.News Patrick Bamford is easily good enough to play for England – but has questioned whether the Leeds number nine suits Gareth Southgate’s side.
Bamford, 27, was instrumental not only in finishing his side’s second goal last night – but also in the build up. His pressure on Scott Dann saw the Palace defender clear the ball to Kalvin Phillips – before Bamford drove into the Palace box and stroke home a second for Leeds. It came after the excellent Raphinha had an effort parried by Vicente Guaita.
The Chelsea academy product has now had a hand in 18 goals in 22 Premier League appearances. Bamford has scored 12 times for Leeds this season, netting against the likes of Liverpool, Leicester and Chelsea – while also laying on six assists for his side, showing the creative side of his game. He has already eclipsed the amount of assists he managed in 45 Championship games last season – which was four.
His form has seen an England call-up touted. Harry Kane and Dom Calvert-Lewin are expected to be on the plane to Euro 2021 – but England are likely to take one or even two more strikers and there is a scrap emerging for those slots. Bamford has competition from the likes of Callum Wilson, Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings and Tammy Abraham, who apart from Watkins, have all played for England before.
Bamford is on the list and produced arguably his best performance of the season – scoring once and laying on two assists in the 3-1 win over Leicester – in front of Southgate. Couzens commented on Bamford’s chances of an England call-up ahead of Euro 2021 and while he thinks Bamford is deserving of international recognition, he asked whether he suits Southgate’s England side.
“There are so many options,” Couzens told LeedsUnited.News. “Kane is number one, full stop. Bamford is a different player, Kalvin Phillips struggled in his first game for England as Southgate plays differently to Leeds. The way Southgate plays might not suit Bamford. We play a totally different brand. Bamford does a lot of work off the ball, and people are now seeing that. The work rate that lad puts in, he is our first defender. England is not as high press, does he fit?
“I personally think he is good enough, he has been fantastic for us and we need to keep him fit. If he doesn’t go, will he be disappointed? I don’t think so – if it happens, it happens. He is good enough, but does he waste too many chances? International football, if you get a chance, you have to take it. Even on Monday, Bamford should have had a hat-trick. My concern would be whether he takes enough chances. With Kane starting, too, he would need to be an impact player – is Bamford that? I don’t think he is. He is pushing, and he is making people aware.”
England are next in action in March as they begin their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. They take on minnows San Marino, before facing Albania and Mateusz Klich’s Poland. Bamford may find that he is given the chance to play for England during those fixtures, if he can keep up his current form – which has seen him have a hand in five goals in his last three games; two goals and three assists.
But Watkins continues to score goals for an improving Aston Villa, Wilson recently got a brace in a Newcastle side that give him little service – while Ings and Calvert-Lewin continue to shine for Southampton and Everton. Bamford has enormous competition and Couzens makes a good point in terms of style, but a potential call-up in March might be on the horizon.