Patrick Bamford eager to return as Leeds United striker labels 2021 his 'best year' - Leeds Live 30/12/21
Bamford made his first ever senior England appearance back in September
By Danny Bloomer
Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford has labelled 2021 as the best year of his football career after he was handed his first England cap in September.
Bamford started the Three Lions’ 4-0 win over Andorra and his first senior call-up was a just reward for the fine season he had enjoyed in Leeds’ first campaign back in the Premier League.
The 28-year-old has netted nine goals and provided seven assists for the Whites over the course of the calendar year, a tally which will have undoubtedly been higher but for injury.
Just two weeks after his England debut, Bamford suffered a serious ankle problem against Newcastle United that saw him miss nine league matches in a row.
Bamford then made a scoring return from injury, netting a stoppage time equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw with Brentford.
That joy did not last long, though, as in the jubilant celebrations that followed, he suffered a hamstring strain to rule him out for Leeds’ final three matches of the year.
While it has been a frustrating end to 2021, Bamford still believes it has been his most successful year in football and is chomping at the bit to get back fit again in order to push for a place in the England squad for next year’s World Cup.
Via quotes from Sky Sports, he said: "If I'd just scored the goals and hadn't got called up, I'd have probably said it was a good year. I probably wouldn't have said it was my best year to date.
"But the England cap really was the cherry on top because it was something that I've worked towards since under-18s when I first got called up for England.
"It was something that I was desperate to achieve. And now that I have had a taste of it, it's something that I really want to push to get back in that camp.
"I'm eager to get back playing in games and push myself to be involved in the England set-up again.
"The fact that there is a World Cup at the end of the year is an added incentive. But it's up to me to prove my worth again."