Even the biggest mouth on an Ivy League-winning mass debating team would struggle to argue how Harry Kane is undeserving of a place in the England squad to face Lithuania and Italy, but Roy Hodgson has missed a trick omitting an unconsidered Chelsea superstar in the making.
Patrick Bamford, currently setting the Championship ablaze on loan at Middlesbrough, is the player unlucky to miss out.
His Premier League experience may be nil, but the Croydon Commandant’s inclusion of out-of-form forwards Theo Walcott and Andros Townsend suggests there were spaces up for grabs.
Walcott has cut a peripheral figure at Arsenal this term, starting just three games, while Townsend has made the Tottenham line up on just eight instances in the league.
Both are primarily deployed in a wide berth, whereas Bamford produces his best work as a central striker, but the 21-year-old has proved himself capable in any of the three attacking-midfield stations under Aitor Karanka this term.
The would-be Harvard maths student started the campaign slowly, but moved onto 14 Championship goals for the season with a sublime winner in Boro’s besting of Derby in midweek, while his double-goal demolition job saw off Ipswich in a 4-1 routing the game before.
Obviously talented and in great form, it won’t long before Bamford is showcasing his brilliance in the top flight.
The cries for his international recognition will duly intensify, so allowing him to experience the goings on around the senior squad, as England did with Ross Barkley and Luke Shaw at the World Cup in the summer, will only prove beneficial in the long-term.
A friendly with Italy will see Hodgson come under pressure from the top clubs to rest those they deem indispensable, yet with Kane the only alternative to senior trio Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck, it’s unlikely they’ll be afforded the night off in Turin.
Bamford’s inclusion would’ve afforded the mainline forwards additional respite, without making massive compromises on quality.
Furthermore, less skilled attackers based in the Championship have graced the England national side in the recent past.
Preston’s David Nugent bagged himself a goal on debut against Andorra as a 21-year-old, while Cardiff’s Jay Bothroyd inexplicably made the international grade, coming off the bench in a non-competitive clash with France.
In terms of potential, it’s fair to say Bamford far exceeds this duo and with a straightforward Euro 2016 qualifier followed by a friendly on the cards, it would’ve been an ideal opportunity to ingratiate him into the country-vs-country format.