Leeds United's Patrick Bamford reveals 'emotional' Victor Orta talk after England call-up

Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford has opened up on his call-up to the England squad in 2021.

Having polarised supporters as Leeds escaped the Championship, Bamford took to life in the Premier League like a duck to water and scored 17 goals in the 2020/21 campaign.

His form was not enough to land him an international opportunity that term but his chance eventually came in the early stages of the following season.

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Gareth Southgate brought him into the fold for World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra and Poland. His first and only outing came in a 4-0 win over Andorra.

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford has one England cap to his name. Image: Jonathan GawthorpeLeeds United's Patrick Bamford has one England cap to his name. Image: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds United's Patrick Bamford has one England cap to his name. Image: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Bamford has since endured injury and form issues that have kept him away from the international picture but his maiden call-up is something he still remembers fondly.

Speaking to comedian Joe Wilkinson on the ‘My Mate’s A Footballer’ podcast, he said: “The season before, I was playing really well and I thought 'I must be getting close here'. But it didn't happen so I thought maybe not. It kind of came as a surprise at the start of the next season.

"It was the first international break of the start of the new season. I'd played maybe like two or three games. I'd done okay to be fair but it was the season before where I was doing really well. It was all going really well, then I came back from the international duty and that was when the injuries happened. A bad two years then, on the bounce.

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“I came to the training ground, Victor [Orta] tried to ring me. I'd literally just got into the training ground and I feel bad saying this but I just left it. I was like 'you can wait a minute, I just need to get changed'. I didn't know what it was about at that time. I was just like 'why is he ringing me?'. At 8:45am, I was like 'come on, let me get ready'.

"Then, straight after that phone's stopped ringing, James Mooney [Leeds’ head of communications] rang me. I was like 'what's going on?'. I answered the phone to that and Jay just showed me an email the club had got. I was looking at the screen, reading this, and was like 'shut up, are you kidding me?'.

“They were obviously buzzing so straight away, Victor said some nice words to me and it was pretty emotional. I was like 'Victor, I'm going to have go, I need to ring my dad'.”

Bamford was called up alongside his club teammate Kalvin Phillips, who had already made a number of Three Lions appearances.

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The forward said: “They [Leeds teammates] were all really good to be fair, they were buzzing because at that point, we had quite a few English players. We had Kalvin, who obviously got called up as well, and then we had a few of the English boys who obviously knew what it meant. They were all buzzing and over the moon as well.”

Having struggled with injuries, Bamford found himself falling down the pecking order at Leeds as new arrivals came to the fore. However, he has returned to the starting XI in recent weeks and has notched four goals in his last six league games.