Tyler Roberts has told the Beautiful Game podcast that he believes Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford deserved to get a chance of England ahead of Euro 2020. The Leeds star was overlooked by Gareth Southgate for Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins – but Roberts has applauded Bamford for his form.
Bamford, 27, has enjoyed the best season of his life – in what was his first proper crack at Premier League football. Scoring 17 goals in 38 Premier League outings, Bamford also laid on an impressive seven assists. He was England’s second-highest top goalscorer in the Premier League.
However, Watkins and Mason Greenwood – as well as Everton’s Dom Calvert-Lewin – were picked over Bamford. Roberts – who has been named in the 26-man Wales squad – has suggested that Southgate made a mistake in overlooking Bamford. But Roberts has also praised Bamford’s reaction.
He claimed that Bamford took it in his stride and did not look phased by it, continuing to work hard in training. Roberts also spoke of his past criticism in the Championship, where Bamford was guilty of missing numerous chances – something he has eradicated from his game this term.
“He’s a proper chilled-out guy. He’s great to be around. He has had a lot of criticism in the Championship, but he is in the PL now and he has taken it in his stride. As soon as he came to the club, his finishing is A1, on point. It has always been very good. It wasn’t a surprise that he would start scoring these goals,” Roberts told the TBG podcast.
“But it was getting the confidence and the chances. He has to be up there with the rest of the PL strikers, he should’ve got the England call. It was unfortunate he didn’t, but he wasn’t angry about that – he’s not that person.”
One aspect of Bamford’s game has been his movement in and around the penalty area, scoring more close-range efforts. His goal against Tottenham during the 3-1 win at Elland Road is a prime example. Starting from deep when Gjanni Alioski gets the ball, Bamford’s movement leaves Eric Dier motionless – allowing him to tap the ball into the net.
Roberts spoke of how he wants to learn that instinctive moment from Bamford: “He is somebody I have to learn off. I have to improve my movement in the box and that is what he’s good at.”