Charlie Austin has snubbed Patrick Bamford’s England chances and has backed Danny Ings to win the European Championships race ahead of the Leeds United ace.

Bamford’s goal against Crystal Palace on Monday evening took his Premier League tally to 12 for the season, five ahead of Ings but that hasn’t stopped Austin opting for the Southampton striker over the Leeds man.

Only five players have outscored the Whites forward this season and two of them are English – Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Speaking on talkSPORT breakfast [9am, 10/02/21] Austin picked Kane and Calvert-Lewin alongside Ings as the strikers he would take to the European Championships.

He said: “Ings being the third striker he offers something, his energy is infectious to everybody else so I think whether he starts or comes off the bench he’s going to be infectious for the rest of the team.”

When pressed by Laura Woods on whether Bamford’s link-up play could see him called up, Austin responded: “Yeah but Harry Kane can do that and that is an unfortunate situation, he’s our talisman.”

Leeds United

Austin should know better – Bamford is more than goals

Well it is hard to argue with the decision to take Kane and Calvert-Lewin given their strong golscoring pedigrees over the few seasons and the physical presence they both offer but Austin’s dismissive attitude towards Bamford stinks of pure ignorance.

He makes reference to the ‘ ‘infectious energy’ that Ings brings – has he not seen Bamford under Marcelo Bielsa?

Austin should know first-hand after sitting on the bench at The Hawthorns on December 29 when his parent club West Brom were annihilated 5-0 by the Whites and while Bamford did not score, he registered an assist for Jack Harrison and was constantly harrying the Baggies back line.

Under Bielsa there is no hiding place for players – they have to show a willingness to put the pressure on and force mistakes from the oppositon.

Bamford has only missed one league game since the beginning of last season while Ings has already missed five this term and his injury history suggests there is less mileage in his legs than the Leeds striker.

Ings is a fine striker in his own right and we do not want to denounce his credentials completely but perhaps Austin could be a bit more open-minded and receptive to the idea that Bamford is a serious contender for an England berth.

The gap is considerably smaller than you think, Charlie.

In other Leeds United news, see our exclusive interview with Paul Robinson for his views on what the Whites must do with Raphinha.

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