Patrick Bamford backing 'special' Leeds United teammate Kalvin Phillips to thrive with England during Euro 2020
Patrick Bamford believes Kalvin Phillips can bring something unique to England as he prepares to watch Euro 2020 as a fan.
Leeds United’s No 9 was heavily tipped for inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s squad after bagging 17 goals and seven assists in the Premier League.
Bamford, though, missed out on a Three Lions call-up for this summer’s European Championships but saw team-mate Phillips earn a place in the final 26-man line-up.
The Whites striker’s absence caused debate among supporters, pundits and the media alike but Bamford will now take in the delayed tournament at home in the knowledge he pushed the decision close.
England captain and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford were all preferred as the out-and-out striking options by Southgate.
Phillips is among seven Leeds players at the Euros with Diego Llorente (Spain), Robin Koch (Germany), Tyler Roberts (Wales), Mateusz Klich (Poland), Liam Cooper (Scotland) and Gjanni Alioski (North Macedonian) all featuring.
United’s Thorp Arch academy product is the first representative plying his trade in LS11 to head away with the national team at a major tournament since the World Cup in 2002.
“Every time he goes out there, he gives 100 per cent,” Bamford told Sky Sports of Elland Road team-mate Phillips.
“I’ve seen the way that he’s grown as a player and he’s turned into one of the best holding midfielders in the Premier League.
“Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice are top players, which shows the strength, but I think that Kalvin can definitely offer something special to that England squad.
“Nothing really fazes him to be honest.
“He’s a really laid-back kind of lad, in terms of not letting the pressure get too much for him.
“But when it’s game time, you’re not taking him out of the zone.”
Despite missing out on the competition and a potential England call, Bamford admits he ‘can’t wait’ for the competition to kick-off. Instead of wearing his boots for the Three Lions this summer, he will have his feet up on the sofa at home heading and kicking every ball as a supporter.
“I’m a fan so I can’t wait for the games to get started,” he added. “I’ll probably end up watching every single match, not just the England games. We’ve got such a strong squad that I’m thinking England can win it.
“There are some other strong teams but, with the players we’ve got, we’re in for a very good chance. The only team I’m worried about is probably France. There are other good teams, like Belgium, Portugal, Germany, but I think France are going to be good. Hopefully we don’t meet them until the final.”
Southgate’s men begin the tournament on June 13 with a clash against Croatia in London at Wembley. England will play all three group games at their home stadium with the delayed tournament being played across 11 host cities to celebrate the competition’s 60-year history.
The Three Lions welcome Scotland on June 18 before a clash with the Czech Republic on June 22 to round off Group D.