By Bruce Watson

1st Apr, 2021 | 6:10pm

UEFA rule change could hand Bamford huge England chance with Leeds star next in line

Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford’s international chances could be about to recieve a huge boost as UEFA meet to discuss expanding the number of players allowed at this year’s Euros. 

Bamford narrowly missed out on Gareth Southgate’s squad for March’s World Cup qualifiers with the England boss wanting to take a look at Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins instead.

Southgate is quoted by Leeds Live as saying that Bamford was ‘very close’ to an England call up after a fine season with Leeds.

He said, “Very close. There’s a number of positions on the pitch in this squad where there were some really close calls.

“Both Ollie and Patrick in particular, their goal record has been good, and we like the personalities of both of them.”

This suggests that Bamford would be next in line for a call up if a striker dropped out or, for example, if UEFA decided to increase the size of the squads allowed at this summer’s delayed Euros.

According to the BBC, that’s exactly what UEFA discussed when they met for a meeting on Wednesday.

The report claims that no decisions have been made yet and it is unclear whether extra squad members will actually be with the team or just be on stand by in case something happens.

Either way, with more spaces potentially up for grabs this has to be a huge boost to a player who is right on the periphery of the England set up.

Watkins did his Euros chances no harm as he scored against San Marino on his debut but Bamford has outscored him in the league this season.

Nothing is guaranteed but there is no denying that if extra spaces become available to Southgate then Bamford must be near the top of his list.

If Harry Kane picks up an injury it is unknown who his number two would be.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin seems to be the current choice, a player who has scored the same amount of goals as Bamford this season though the Leeds man is undoubtedly in better form.

Either way, this will be welcome news to Bamford and if UEFA make the proposed changes then it gives our man a great chance of going to a first major tournament with his country.

In other Leeds United news, Athletic journalist: Sheffield United suffer major blow ahead of PL clash V Leeds