Former Aston Villa midfielder Warren Aspinall says that Leeds striker Patrick Bamford should replace Ollie Watkins in the England squad.
The Three Lions are blessed with a myriad of attacking talent, with many players automatic selections. Indeed, captain Harry Kane and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford – if fit – will play at the delayed European Championships this summer. However, debate has ensued about the other options available to manager Gareth Southgate.
Villa star Watkins and Bamford are two players battling for a place in the squad this summer.
The former won Southgate over for the most recent international break. Nevertheless, the boss admitted that omitting Bamford proved a tough call.
Watkins made the most of his first call-up, scoring on his debut in a 5-0 win over San Marino.
According to Aspinall, though, Bamford should get the nod this summer.
He told BBC Sussex: “He is a very intelligent striker and a very intelligent person off the field as well
“You can see his movement is different class and I think he is very unlucky not to be in the England squad.
Gareth Southgate: Close call between Ollie Watkins, Patrick Bamford
Ollie Watkins receives his first England call-up after doing 'exceptionally well' this season but it was a close call between him and Patrick Bamford, who is 'very unfortunate' to miss out on selection, says manager Gareth Southgate.
“I think he is better than the lad at Aston Villa if I am really honest. With his goals for as well, he is even-stevens with Watkins.
“His movement is great and he is great in both boxes as well.”
Bamford, Watkins enjoy strong seasons
Bamford’s form has proved one of the feel-good stories of the Premier League season.
The 27-year-old had previous spells in the top flight with Chelsea and Middlesbrough, but failed to make his mark.
Regardless, he has led the line in Marcelo Bielsa’s side impeccably this time around, netting 14 goals and assisting eight others.
Watkins, though, has made his own mark on the Premier League. Villa caught the eye when signing him from Brentford in September for a club-record fee.
However, the 25-year-old has scored 12 times in 31 games, laying on four other goals.
Danny Ings is another Premier League star who has been in and around the England squad recently. However, a fresh injury has put the Southampton striker’s hopes of inclusion in peril.