Troy Deeney has backed Patrick Bamford for an England call-up this summer but claims the Leeds United striker lags behind Ollie Watkins in many areas.
After hitting 14 Premier League goals for the newly-promoted Whites this season Bamford would have been hopeful of forcing his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
But he was left out of this month’s fixtures for Aston Villa’s Watkins who has four fewer strikes to his name.
Bamford also has double the amount of assists [six to three] but that has not stopped Watford captain Deeney from labelling the Villa man as the more complete forward, as he claimed on talkSPORT Breakfast [06:00, 29/03/21].
On who he would take to this summer’s European Championships Deeney said: “Off current form you’d have to go [Harry] Kane, [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin, Watkins, Bamford if you had to take four.”
Deeney was asked why he named Watkins before Bamford in the pecking order: “I think he offers more in his game, he can play on the left or the right of the three as well because he’s done that for Brentford,” he said.
“He’s quicker and I just think, this is going to sound really bad but I think he’s a better finisher than Bamford.
“Bamford has a lot of chances and obviously scores goals but he needs a lot of chances to score goals and I think he [Watkins] is a better finisher and that’s not being disrespectful.
“The goals that Watkins scores you can just tell he’s a better finisher than Bamford.”
Numbers don’t stack up
We don’t doubt that Watkins is a good player that trumps Bamford in a few categories – he is quicker and is slightly more versatile given his experience playing on the flanks.
But Deeney has it wrong by claiming Watkins is a better finisher and has more to his game.
According to stats by Wyscout Bamford scores 0.49 goals per 90 while his xG sits at 0.59.
So he is underperforming his expected goals by 0.10 but Watkins underperforms slightly more with a difference of 0.11 between his actual 0.33 goals and 0.44 xG.
The margins are thin for shooting with Bamford also edging shots and shots on target per 90 with 2.92 and 44% compared to Watkins’ 2.39 and 43.1%.
They share a similar prowess in front of goal but Bamford trumps him resoundingly for assists.
His 0.21 assists per 90 is treble Watkins’ 0.07 figure.
These statistics are at complete odds with Deeney’s claims – perhaps he should take a closer look before making more sweeping statements.
In other Leeds United news, Roy Keane hails ‘mature’ Whites ace.