Ex-Middlesbrough loanee Patrick Bamford misses out on England Under-21 squad

Patrick Bamford misses out on England Under-21 squad
Patrick Bamford misses out on England Under-21 squad
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Former Middlesbrough loanee Patrick Bamford has been omitted from the England squad for the European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic through injury.

Tottenham defender Eric Dier also misses out, with manager Gareth Southgate having to trim his 27-man squad to 23 to meet the UEFA deadline for this month’s tournament.

Dier is the highest-profile omission with Wolves striker Benik Afobe, Chelsea forward Bamford and Cauley Woodrow, of Fulham, also left out from the original squad.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Saido Berahino, of West Brom, and Burnley’s Danny Ings are all included in a squad which will see England play against Portugal, Sweden and Italy in the group stages.

Bamford, who scored 19 goals this season on loan at Middlesbrough, misses out following an ankle injury but Southgate said the competition was fierce and he admitted he had been impressed with former Arsenal striker Afobe, who was on target 32 times in a goal-laden campaign for MK Dons and Wolves.

“It’s been hard, but a couple of the guys always knew that they were already stand-by players,” Southgate said.

“It’s a shame for Patrick, because he’s been injured and that’s why he misses out.

“We were conscious that towards the end of the season he wasn’t really fit to train with Middlesbrough, so he needs that period to get himself right now.”