By Craig Scott

21st Mar, 2021 | 10:58am

Ashley Williams: Leeds ace Bamford deserves England opportunity

Ashley Williams and Leon Osman hailed Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford after he scored and assisted goals in the 2-1 win at Fulham on Friday.

Bamford, 27, had been overlooked by Gareth Southgate for a spot in the England squad this week but responded to that superbly by putting Fulham to the sword at Craven Cottage.

When asked if Bamford should be considered for England, ex-Swansea defender Williams told Match of the Day on Saturday night: “I don’t see why not.

“I’ve played against him and he’s very difficult to play against.

“He’s quite selfless in his play, he stretches the play to allow space for midfielders and his hold-up play is very good as well.

“Now he’s added those goals, he’s a serious contender for the conversation of ‘should he be in the England squad?’.”

Ex-Everton player Leon Osman was sat alongside Williams and added: “All players need a bit of confidence to play well and those two (Bamford and Southampton’s Nathan Redmond) are the exceptional ones.”

That’s how you do it

We don’t need to tell Leeds fans how good Bamford is and say why he should have been in the England squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

However, on the basis that the striker failed to complete 90 minutes at Craven Cottage, we should take it as a blessing in disguise.

While Bamford will no doubt be gutted by missing out on Southgate’s squad – especially for Aston Villa’s Ollie Waktins – he was carrying a knock going into the game at Fulham.

He’ll now have a couple of weeks to rest up and get himself back up to full fitness in time to play against Sheffield United on April 3 – our first home Yorkshire derby back in the Premier League.

While the Blades are down and out at the bottom of the Premier League and the best we can hope for is a strong mid-table finish, beating them would be yet another brilliant thing to add to what has been a superb season.

Marcelo Bielsa, Kalvin Phillips, Bamford, Stuart Dallas, Raphinha, Luke Ayling. You’ve all been amazing – as has everyone else.

They deserve all the accolades they can get and hopefully if Bamford’s able to stay fit and get on the scoresheet or set up goals the way he did at Fulham, he might have a chance of a call-up to the England squad for the European Championships this summer.

In other Leeds United news, this Elland Road ace has explained why he wasn’t called up to international duty.