Patrick Bamford left at Leeds United as Gareth Southgate opts against call-up to replace of Marcus Rashford

Gareth Southgate has opted against calling Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford up for England’s matches against Albania and Poland despite Marcus Rashford withdrawing from the squad.

Rashford was considered a major doubt for the two remaining World Cup qualifiers and yesterday evening, he and Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka were officially withdrawn.

Despite having hinted Bamford could be called up if the squad was to suffer further injuries, manager Southgate has decided against adding to his squad.

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As an out-and-out centre-forward, Bamford is a more natural replacement for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins – who both scored in Thursday’s 5-0 win over San Marino – and captain Harry Kane. The latter can be expected to be recalled for tomorrow’s match against Albania in Tirana, with Southgate mindful of the need to rotate his squad for three days in six games.

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford is still waiting for the England call (Picture: PA)

The absence of Rashford might benefit Manchester City’s Phil Foden, a half-time substitute on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Manchester City player believes the one-year delay in the European Championships due to Covid-19 could also help him.

“It has given us that extra time to play at our clubs because obviously we are all very young,” he said.

Despite Southgate having spoken highly of him for years, Foden does not feel sure of his place, but is in a good place mentally to try to tie it down in the next week.

England's Harry Kane. (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire)

“Obviously there are so many great talents playing well at the moment so there are places up for grabs,” he added.

“All I have got to keep doing is do well at my club and hopefully it will give me opportunities to play more games for England.

“If I don’t get picked I will just keep working hard and try and improve. I am still only 20 and got a lot to improve.

“It’s really important to be consistent with your club and I want to just take that form for my club into England as well.

“It’s hard to say unstoppable but I feel like I am full of confidence.

“When you are in a good run of form your confidence is always higher than normal so, yes, I feel full of confidence at the moment and I am really enjoying my game.

“Is this the most confident I have felt ? Probably, yes.”

Dominic Calvert-Lewin interview: Page 2

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