Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford has been handed a major boost in his quest to make the England squad for the European Championships.
Earlier today, UEFA announced that teams will be allowed to pick a contingent of 26 players for the tournament this summer.
Due to the pandemic, the domestic seasons began late which added to player fatigue. Having more options to choose from will make head coaches better prepared to deal with any injuries sustained over the course of one month.
This opens up the opportunity for three additional players to be on the plane for a competition they would’ve missed out on in normal circumstances.
Bamford is one such player who has been on the periphery of the Three Lions setup and narrowly missed out recently when Gareth Southgate called up Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins.
Bamford has to go
Three more spots mean that managers are likely to pick an additional defender, midfielder and goal scorer.
Judging by performances of English forwards this season, Bamford makes a fantastic shout to be on the plane in June.
After a torrid 2019/20 campaign, the former Chelsea striker has been a revelation in Leeds’ first season back up in 16 years.
He’s led the club’s goal scoring charts with 14 league goals. Add to that he’s also got seven assists and his work in chasing down opposition players when out of possession is an underrated facet to his game.
Bamford would be Southgate’s ideal striker to bring on while defending a slender lead. He could ensure that with his constant running the opposition are not given too much time on the ball.
Former Leeds striker Brian Deane has also waxed lyrical about the 27-year-old. He said, “Patrick Bamford for me is somebody who I’d say his strengths are he’s very intelligent, he finds little spaces between the lines and he’s got a hell of a shot.”
He would also ensure, being the team’s focal point, that the team doesn’t sit too deep and crumble under pressure.
His runs in behind defences can be unleashed to exploit teams sitting high or if Southgate decides to play on the break.
All in all, he brings such a variety of playing choices, and it would be a huge mistake if Southgate doesn’t take him for the Euros.
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