Leeds United star Patrick Bamford showed real fight to put in a superb performance against Fulham on Sunday despite not being at 100 per cent fitness.
That is according to ex-Leeds striker and lifelong fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 27-year-old told Sky Sports: “I was just trying to get through as much of the game as I could because I was struggling.”
The 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage was Bamford’s first match after limping off with a hip problem in the first half of the draw with Chelsea last Saturday.
As well as registering a superbly taken goal and assist, the striker won 80 per cent of his offensive duels and completed two out of three dribbles in the 2-1 win (Wyscout).
His performance came just days after he was omitted from the England squad for the upcoming March internationals, with Ollie Watkins instead winning his first call-up.
Whelan claims England boss Gareth Southgate will be ruing his decision to omit Bamford who has shown determination in abundance to play through the pain for Leeds.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “He was excellent. When we’re talking about a player who’s committed and shows that desire to play after an injury, I’m so glad that he did.
“The goal that he took was exceptional, it was a top-class finish, it really was.
“A striker who’s just been left out of the England side, you could so easily have let that get to you and feel down about that, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, he’s gone out there and proved a point to Gareth Southgate that he should have been in the side ahead of Ollie Watkins.
“The stats say it and I think the performance he put in at the weekend did as well. Maybe Gareth is sitting there thinking: ‘You know what, I’ve made the wrong choice on this one.'”
Other than Harry Kane, no Englishman has scored more goals in the Premier League than Patrick Bamford this season, who has 14 strikes to his name.
He has also registered six assists and started all 29 of Leeds’ matches since their return to the top-flight.