Dean Smith has claimed that Patrick Bamford was unlucky to miss out on the recent England squad after Gareth Southgate snubbed the Leeds United forward and a number of his own Aston Villa players.
Leeds had high hopes that Bamford would be called up into the England squad for the upcoming international fixtures, but Ollie Watkins was picked instead.
Smith is, obviously, overseeing Watkins’ development at Villa Park, but took time to note Bamford’s unfortunate omission.
It appeared that Bamford was in competition with Watkins for a place in the England squad, with the Villa man getting the nod over the Leeds striker, despite him notching his 14th goal of the season over the weekend in a 2-1 win over Fulham.
Kalvin Phillips made Southgate’s squad, but Bamford was the other Leeds player really pushing for a call-up. At Villa, there were more in contention than just Watkins and Tyrone Mings, as Smith explained (as quoted in Leeds Live) before discussing Bamford.
They (Ezri Konsa and Matt Targett) have been in very good form. There are always players who are going to be unlucky.
I think Patrick Bamford is also unlucky at Leeds United. There are lots of players that Gareth has to choose from, so I certainly don’t envy the role he has got.
He also namechecks Matty Cash, who has been injured, unfortunately, so there are a lot of players out there who are pushing and Gareth will have a tricky job come the summer picking for the Euros.
Bamford, 27, also clocked an assist in Friday night’s win at Fulham, taking his goal-assist tally to 20 for his first full season as a frontline Premier League player.
Bamford was unlucky to miss out on the England squad. You can understand why Watkins was picked given he’s probably got more chance of developing into the better player, but right now, the Leeds man edges it and looks to have had a better season.
On the back of Southgate’s snub, Bamford was in fine form at Fulham, sending a message to the man who had overlooked him.
That’s all Bamford can keep doing. He’s done awfully well to get to where he is now in terms of goals, but there’s a chance for him to do even more in the final third of the season. He could clock 20 goals, which would be an amazing achievement.
If he does that, he will give Southgate another decision to make in the summer.