Patrick Bamford is in superb form for Middlesbrough at the moment, he’s scored eight in his last five games to boost their hopes of a return to the top flight.
Bamford signed for Boro in January 2017 for a £6m fee, but this season he’s begun to find his feet in front of goal.
Under Tony Pulis his form has dramatically improved, putting him on the radar of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.
After scoring just three times under Garry Monk, the change has been dramatic.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror, O’Neill admitted the striker was one he had an eye on: “Bamford is one of the Boro players in form and I watched him recently,” he said.
“I haven’t had contact with him but if someone is showing an inclination – and their career with another country is well down the list – then it is certainly something I would consider.”
24-year old Bamford was born in Grantham, but qualifies for Ireland through his grand parents. He represented them at U18 level before switching to England, where he represented right through to Gareth Southgate’s U21 side.
He’s yet to make a senior appearance for his country, but spoke of his desire to play for England one day in an interview with the Gazette Live in 2017.
“Personally, in four-and-a-half years I’d love to be called up for England,” Bamford said.
“That’s the pinnacle of someone’s career to play for the national team. But of course, I’ve got a lot of work to do before that. I want to help Boro go as far as they can – there’s no limits.”
Bamford started his career at Nottingham Forest before making a £1.5m move to Chelsea as a 18-year old. After loan spells at MK Dons and Derby, he first joined Middlesbrough where his goal scoring form earned him the Championship Player of the Year award.
He recently scored his first ever senior hat trick as Boro beat Leeds 3-0.
Bamford has always been bubbling with potential, but at 24 he’s only just found a permanent move that might help him reach it.
He’d be a great capture for Martin O’Neill and a switch to Ireland would perhaps bring more international recognition than he’ll get for England. However, Gareth Southgate had him at U21 level and he’ll be aware of the striker’s talents too.
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