Luke Ayling considered for shock England call-up alongside Patrick Bamford

Luke Ayling could be handed a surprise England call-up for next week’s World Cup qualifiers – and he may be joined by Patrick Bamford.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 9:36 am
Luke Ayling of Leeds United during the Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

The Leeds United duo are being considered by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate as he prepares to name his latest squad tomorrow.

Southgate is weighing up handing first call-ups to the Whites pair, and recalling West Ham’s Jesse Lingard, according to a report in the Guardian.

Bamford, who has been in fine goalscoring form this season in Leeds’ first campaign back in the top flight, has been tipped for a call-up previously but missed out on the last squad.

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LEEDS, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Patrick Bamford of Leeds United goes down injured during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Chelsea at Elland Road on March 13, 2021 in Leeds, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The striker, capped at Under-21 level by England, has 13 Premier League goals this season, but picked up a knock that forced him off against Chelsea on Saturday, though it is believed the injury isn’t too serious.

Ayling has been another success story for Leeds under the tuition of Marcelo Bielsa. The 29-year-old full back’s versatility and performances this season have caught Southgate’s eye and the defender could be set for a shock call-up as the England manager looks to freshen up his squad for the games against San Marino, Albania and Poland at the end of the month.

Southgate must contend with a number of injuries this month, while Fifa has ruled that, because of the pandemic, clubs are not compelled to release players for the upcoming international window which could affect Atletico Madrid right back Kieran Trippier’s involvement.

The England manager has something of an embarrassment of riches to choose from at right-back. As well as Trippier, whose form has been superb since he moved to La Liga, there is also Chelsea youngster Reece James, Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold – who has suffered a dip in form recently – Manchester United’s £50m man Aaron Wan Bissaka and the experienced Kyle Walker, while youngsters Max Aarons, Tariq Lamptey and Matty Cash have also received rave reviews this season.

In-form defenders Luke Shaw and John Stones are also in line for recalls to Southgate’s squad after their performances with Manchester United and Manchester City respectively this season.