Chris Sutton and Chris Coleman have both raved about Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford after the Englishman took his tally to 12 goals for the Premier League campaign during his side’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Elland Road.
The Whites came into the match with the chance to leapfrog Arsenal and climb into the top half of the table, and they did just that. Marcelo Bielsa’s side made it five wins from eight, a whopping 15 from a possible 24, as they eased past Palace.
The Eagles missed Wilf Zaha as an early goal from Jack Harrison set the tone – his sixth of the campaign. Bamford made it two in the second half and strengthened his claims for an England call-up, finishing well after Raphinha’s effort was saved.
Sutton raved about Bamford’s importance to the Leeds side following the full-time whistle, claiming he had proved doubters wrong. Meanwhile, ex-Wales manager Coleman suggested Bamford has the “class” to play for England.
Sutton said, as per BBC Live: “Patrick Bamford stays composed and sidefoots the ball easily into the back of the net. What a player he has been this season for Leeds. People doubted he could score goals at this level but he has done.”
Coleman told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football: “He’s got the class to play international football. If he keeps going the way he is going, I have no doubt he will be in the England side.”
TBR’s view – Is Bamford really good enough for England?
Bamford is playing at full pelt, producing the form of his life. He is working at 100% of his maximum. It brings back that age-old debate – are England better off calling up in-form players, or proven internationals that have shown they can do it?
A mix is probably the best answer. Unfortunately for England, they only really have one striker that has been a regular at England level – Harry Kane. Tammy Abraham, Danny Ings, Callum Wilson and Dom Calvert-Lewin all have caps.
But only a couple each, making them hardly any more experienced than Bamford. If you compared Bamford to that list of strikers, though, you would suggest that if all were working at 100% – then Bamford is some way down the list.
Bamford now has 12 goals and six assists in the Premier League – are his rivals working at 100%, like Bamford is? No. So, does Gareth Southgate pick form over class? If he does, Bamford plays.