Patrick Bamford deserved to be named in the England squad after a “phenomenal” season at Leeds United.
That is according to former Scotland boss Alex McLeish who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 27-year-old deserved to be a player of the year nominee.
As confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, Bamford has been snubbed from the provisional 33-man squad by Gareth Southgate.
Ahead of naming his final #EURO2020 squad next week, Gareth Southgate has selected 33 players to join up with the #ThreeLions from this weekend as our preparations for this summer's tournament get under way.
— England (@England) May 25, 2021
The England boss has instead selected Harry Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ollie Watkins and Mason Greenwood as his striker options.
McLeish admitted he had been blown away by Bamford’s movement and awareness in the box this term.
As such, he suggested Southgate could have used the Leeds man to unlock stubborn defences at the Euros.
McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I think he should be in contention for player of the year. I think he’s been that good.
“He’s not a lone striker because the guys do get in support of him well. Bielsa has obviously made that a strategy but when you see his movement, his quickness, his awareness in the box, he’s getting into great positions.
“He’s getting on the end of crosses into the box, sometimes speculative crosses. He’s been phenomenal. I can’t pick Gareth’s squad for him. He’s obviously got the top scorer in the last two or three years, in the brilliant Harry Kane.
“But you think if there’s a sticky game or something and you’ve got Bamford sitting there. You’re looking at him going right, you go and win that game for us. That’s how capable I think he is.”
Bamford netted 17 goals in total for Leeds this season.
His final strike came from the penalty spot against West Brom on the final day.