Gary Neville has told Monday Night Football (26/10; 22:37) that a lot of Patrick Bamford’s game is unbelievable, and claimed that the Leeds United striker may now not be far away from an England call-up.
Bamford has made an outstanding start to life in the Premier League with the Whites. He went into Friday’s clash at Aston Villa having scored three goals in his first five appearances following promotion.
And within 90 minutes, that goals tally was doubled. Bamford scored a stunning hat-trick in the 3-0 win against a side that had boasted a flawless record before Leeds’s visit.
It was a performance that saw Bamford silence his doubters in emphatic fashion. Not only did he score three goals, but they were also all completely different strikes.
His first saw Bamford react fastest after Emi Martinez saved Rodrigo’s effort. He then hit a thunderous effort from the edge of the box to double Leeds’s lead.
And the treble was completed with the classiest finish of the three. He managed to guide the ball into the far corner while surrounded by a number of Villa players.
Neville was full of praise for the 27-year-old’s goals – particularly the latter two. And he suggested that the Leeds man has to be starting to move himself onto Gareth Southgate’s radar.
“Absolutely brilliant. I think he came up with the reputation of not being the best finisher, best goalscorer,” he told Monday Night Football. “[The last] two are really, really special. I still can’t really work out the technique behind [his second goal].
“He doesn’t really bend it, he doesn’t hit it with his laces. It’s almost like these sort of Ronaldo-type free-kicks where he cuts across it, but you very rarely see them in open play. It’s an absolutely brilliant finish.
“His work-ethic, the way in which he leads the line, the way he pressurises, his out of possession work is unbelievable. And then you put [his final goal] with it: touch, touch, finish, and – it’s very early – you’re not far away from being an England player.”
Bamford – who earns £35,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – is now potentially facing a new challenge following his hat-trick. He has proved his critics wrong in superb fashion. And he now needs to show that he can live up to expectations with plaudits coming in from many directions.
But having stepped up on a number of occasions already this season, it should come as no surprise if Bamford continues to prove a revelation for Leeds over the coming months.