Nigel Martyn has told LeedsUnited.News that he wants Gareth Southgate to give Patrick Bamford a chance in the England side before choosing his Euro 2021 squad, after the club’s number nine took his tally to 11 goals in 21 Premier League appearances last weekend – but thinks Bamford’s lack of top-flight experience might see him eventually miss out.
Bamford, 27, has been sensational for Leeds this term – defying pre-season expectations that he would struggle with the step-up to the Premier League. The Chelsea academy product has played in the Premier League before, but this season was his first real crack at it, as a first-choice striker. His performance against Leicester was arguably one of the best of his career.
The left-footer lashed home a stunning effort into the top corner to put Leeds 2-1 ahead, but also laid on two assists. His delicate pass into Stuart Dallas created the equaliser after Harvey Barnes put the Foxes ahead – and then Bamford unselfishly laid the ball to Jack Harrison to make it three. An assist in the defeat to Everton on Wednesday has seen Bamford take his tally of assists to six for the season.
Bamford is yet to win a senior cap, but even Gabriel Agbonlahor told TalkSPORT this week that he deserves to be in the Euro 2021 squad. He faces competition from Harry Kane, Dom Calvert-Lewin, Callum Wilson, Ollie Watkins, Tammy Abraham and Danny Ings. But only Calvert-Lewin and Kane have scored more Premier League goals than Bamford, and only Kane has more assists.
Leeds icon Martyn responded when given the option of who he would take to Euro 2021. The former Leeds goalkeeper believes Kane and Calvert-Lewin will be picked, and then it is two from three between Bamford, Wilson and Ings. He hopes Bamford is given an England call-up, but in the fixtures before Euro 2021 to prove he can hack it in an England shirt.
“If Kane is fit, he goes,” Martyn told LeedsUnited.News. “I think Calvert-Lewin goes. If you’ve got Calvert-Lewin, do you need Tammy Abraham? They’re very similar and Abraham is not playing every week – with [Thomas] Tuchel in, how much game time is he going to get? He’s [Bamford] had an incredible first season in the Premier League, his first full season. His goal tally is excellent. I would like to see him given an opportunity at some point in a friendly game, providing his form is still there – and to see how he would be at that level.
“He has just done a big step up and is performing incredibly well – but it is another big step. The others have a few more years in the Premier League, that’s their advantage. But he should be given an opportunity – in all honesty, I don’t think we are blessed with world-class strikers other than Harry Kane. There are some other good strikers, Ings gets goals. Callum Wilson scored against Everton, they’re in and around it.
“It’s any two from three and I don’t see much between them. You need to see how they play with an England shirt on, with better players around them (Ings, Bamford and Wilson). What Patrick did against Leicester, his goal was excellent. His whole performance was excellent. His running off the ball, his link-up play, he is an intelligent lad and intelligence helps. I hope he gets the opportunity to stake his claim.”
England have numerous fixtures before Southgate picks his Euro 2021 squad. They take on San Marino, Albania and Poland in World Cup 2022 qualifiers throughout the course of March. They then face Romania and Austria in the days leading up to their first Euro 2021 fixture against Croatia on June 13, though Southgate will have picked the squad by the time England take to the pitch to face Austria and Romania.
Bamford must continue to score goals, and continue to lay on assists – indeed, it might be his creativity that shows Southgate that he offers something different to the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Ings and Wilson, who are purely focused on goals. Bamford gives the team something different – like Kane does for Tottenham. Keep his momentum up and his form high, and who knows – England could come calling.