Southgate wrong to omit Bamford from Euro 2020 England squad, claims Leeds star
Tyler Roberts has told The Beautiful Game Podcast that he had no doubt in Patrick Bamford being a top Premier League striker for Leeds United.
Roberts believes the Three Lions boss made a mistake in leaving Bamford out. Southgate named Harry Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Marcus Rashford as his recognised strikers in the final 26-man squad.
Only Kane of Southgate’s trio outscored Bamford with the Tottenham Hotspur talisman winning the division’s Golden Boot with 23 goals. Calvert-Lewin found the back of the net 16 times but in five fewer appearances for Everton. While Manchester United’s Rashford scored 11 goals yet offers the additional benefit of being a natural on the wing, too.
Roberts claims Bamford was not angry to be left out despite impressing in his first season as a first-choice top-flight striker. But believes his Leeds teammate deserved the call-up having silenced the critics who questioned the forward in the Championship.
“He’s a proper chilled-out guy, he’s great to be around,” Roberts said. “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.
TBR’s view: Bamford earned Euro 2020 call with Leeds form
Bamford certainly deserved a call-up to Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 after his remarkable form with Leeds. Yet the Grantham-born striker remains without a senior international cap seven years after last representing the U21 side.
Along with ranking fourth for goals scored, Bamford ranked fourth in the Premier League for total shots taken (101). Again, Kane (137) was the only Englishman to better the Marcelo Bielsa favourite. And again, it was only the Tottenham star (53) with more shots on target (48), per WhoScored.
Directing his efforts on target was more of an issue for Bamford in the Championship. Over his 45 outings as Leeds clinched the title, only 56 of his 143 shots found the mark. That led to much criticism, like Roberts alludes to, but he has turned a corner with his performances since.
Bamford will now need to use Southgate’s rejection as fuel to prove him wrong next season. Avoiding second-season syndrome may be what splits the 27-year-old from Calvert-Lewin, Rashford, Ollie Watkins and Callum Wilson, who will also be itching to be England’s first-choice.
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