Patrick Bamford Set For England Debut
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Patrick Bamford Set For England Debut

Some will say it’s a long overdue inclusion from Gareth Southgate, but Leeds United marksman Patrick Bamford has finally been included in a senior England squad.The 27-year-old has had to play the waiting game, last donning a Three Lions shirt at Under-21 level back in 2014. He even considered a change of nationalities to represent the Republic of Ireland in 2019, but that switch never materialised. As the only new addition to an England team that finished as Euro 2020 runners-up just two months ago, plenty of eyes will be on the former Middlesbrough striker as he looks to make an impact on his international debut. Aarron Pullen gives his expert opinions about what Bamford will bring to England and their attacking game.


A new face

Bamford’s introduction could undoubtedly benefit Southgate’s side, in three matches where they are likely to be on top throughout. 

After all, he is used to the high-paced, all-out attacking style of his club manager Marcelo Bielsa. 

Alternatively, if England find themselves chasing the game, you can rely on the 6ft 1in frontman to get shots away in front of goal.

He was in the 80th percentile for shots per 90 minutes (3.05), when compared with strikers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year. 

Those numbers will of course be skewed by Leeds’ offensive approach to matches, but are impressive nonetheless. 

Additionally, what he will bring into the camp is an eagerness to succeed.

It is always good to have some new blood in national team set-ups – not only to keep other players on their toes, but also because a fresh face with a different style of play can often benefit other squad members.

A player who has been this hungry for his chance can only be a good thing, but it will be down to Southgate to channel that hunger into a competitive performance.

With Marcus Rashford and Dominic Calvert-Lewin potentially back for the next round of international fixtures, Bamford will only have a limited window to stake his claim for regular inclusion. 

Road to St. George’s

It hasn’t been the easiest of journeys to the national team for Bamford, who often gets unfairly criticised for his privileged background.

A £1.5million move from Nottingham Forest to Chelsea in 2012 made many sit up and take notice, but – as is so often the case for younger players at Stamford Bridge – loan after loan followed.

Spells at MK Dons, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Burnley all came and went, with varying levels of success.

But it was his stint at the Riverside Stadium that proved the most fruitful and the Teesiders signed him permanently two years after his loan for £5.5million.

However, just 18 months later, he would be on the move from Boro, as Leeds boss Bielsa brought in Bamford to lead the line for his new side.

It is under the mystical Argentine that he has flourished, with 43 goals in 108 league appearances.

His strikes helped fire the Whites back to the top flight, before keeping them there in 2020-21, and now Bamford has an opportunity on the international stage.

A confident man, the Grantham-born forward never let his England dreams fade.

He said: “I always believed that it (an England call-up) was going to happen and I always hoped that I was going to get to this level.

“I always had that self-belief that I was capable, and I just needed to keep working hard.

“I knew that I would never give up until the day that I retired.”

That long awaited debut could come tonight away in Hungary, on Sunday against Andorra at Wembley or away to Poland next Wednesday.

Bamford will be ready to grasp it with both hands. 




V: 1.26.2 All rights reserved. August 2021