Reports immediately before Gareth Southgate picked his England squad to take on San Marino, Albania and Poland in 2022 World Cup qualifying suggested Patrick Bamford – and even Luke Ayling – might be included in the England side. It came as a shock to many, then, when Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins was chosen over Bamford – but does he still have a chance for Euro 2021? Micah Richards thinks so.
Bamford has been in sensational form for Leeds this season. We all know the stories, the criticism, the lack of belief in the ex-Chelsea academy man. Just 16 goals and plenty of missed chances at Leeds last season as the Whites won promotion into the Premier League – saw Bamford criticised. It meant that many believed Bamford would struggle in the Premier League.
But fast forward until now, and the Leeds number nine has scored 14 goals in 29 Premier League games and laid on six assists for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. He has earned rave reviews for his performances – making his England absence a surprise given Ollie Watkins has only scored 10 and created three. But the European Championships are still a possibility for Bamford.
Discussing the squad he would pick this summer, Micah Richards – who owns the house that Illan Meslier currently rents in Yorkshire – told BBC Radio 5 Live that he believes Bamford should be taken to the Euros this summer. He feels that Southgate should pick three strikers and that Bamford should be chosen alongside Harry Kane and Dom Calvert-Lewin.
“I would take Bamford. I love Bamford. I believe that Bamford offers something different. I love his link-up play. He holds the line really well. Calvert-Lewin does it as well. Watkins holds the line. If you’re asking me if I would take Bamford, 100% of course I would. You take three strikers, no? i’d take Calvert-Lewin and Kane,” Richards said.
“I would have taken him in this squad to see what he can do. He was one of the most-underrated strikers in the Premier League. If you actually watch him, his lovely little touches around the box – he is left-footed so you don’t know where he is going to turn. I just thought he would get a chance. For international football, he would be very good – bringing others into play.”
Does Bamford still have a chance? Time will tell but it has to be said, it doesn’t look particularly promising given it is the last England side before the European Championships squad is picked. Bamford can only do one thing, continue scoring goals for Leeds – and nabbing assists. If the striker can get to 20 goals and more assists for the season, he might unavoidable.