'Under Marcelo he has developed magnificently' - Victor Orta's delight as Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford earns first England call up
Leeds United director of football Victor Orta says Patrick Bamford's first senior England call up is reward for his 'magnificent development' under Marcelo Bielsa.
Gareth Southgate has included Bamford in his Three Lions squad for the September internationals, alongside Whites team-mate Kalvin Phillips. The pair will be in contention for caps in the World Cup Qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra and Poland.
For Phillips, with 15 caps to his name after a single year in Southgate's plans, another call up was almost certain. But for Bamford, who missed out on selection last season despite 17 goals and seven assists in the Premier League and a wealth of impressive performances for Leeds, it is a brand new experience.
"Today is a proud day for Patrick and his family and they deserve this," said Orta.
"I first worked with Patrick when we signed him permanently whilst I worked at Middlesbrough and I’ve always been struck by what a good person he is, as well as a top player.
"Under Marcelo he has developed magnificently and I’m delighted that Gareth has rewarded his efforts with a call up to join Kalvin in the National team. More success is to come, I am sure."
Bamford, like his head coach Bielsa, joined Leeds in the summer of 2018 and after what he himself admits was a sticky start, with knee injuries disrupting his first season, he has established himself as the club's first choice number nine.
In the title-winning Championship campaign that booked the club's return to the Premier League after 16 years in the EFL, Bamford led the club in goalscoring with 16. Amid doubts about his ability to be clinical, due to the chances he missed in the second tier, Bamford turned in a sensational first top flight season at Elland Road.
Speaking last week, on the day Bamford signed a new five-year deal with Leeds, Bielsa once again put on record his admiration for the forward.
"Bamford is a very important player for us and one of the best strikers that English football has," he said.