Patrick Bamford has finally ended the Republic of Ireland’s lingering hopes he might switch his international allegiance to them.
Former Republic bosses Martin O’Neill and Mick McCarthy tried to persuade Bamford to turn his back on England and play for them.
“The idea of being selected for England is a dream.
“I thought about it before the last squad was announced and I didn’t sleep properly the night before because I was wondering whether it was going to happen or not.
“I am probably a bit down the pecking order, but I just have to keep doing my thing. If I got one England cap in the whole of my career, I’d be over the moon with that and it would be something I’d cherish,” Bamford said a month ago.
Bamford has played for England at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-21 level and Southgate named him in his preliminary squad for the 2015 Under-21 European Championships before he pulled out injured.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) March 22, 2021
The 27-year-old forward has been in great form for Leeds so far this season. He has banged in 14 goals and weighed in with six assists in 29 games. Indeed, he can consider himself very unfortunate not to make the England squad last week, as Marcelo Bielsa explained.
Such has been his form that he’s been tipped as a possible target for former side, Chelsea.
Bamford joined Chelsea from Nottingham Forest in January 2012 but failed to kick a ball for the Blues. The 27-year-old spent time on loan with several clubs before finding a home at Middlesbrough.
That led to a bargain £7m switch to Elland Road in 2018 – and he’s not looked back since.
While a move to Chelsea looks unlikely, it’s not one that would be totally unexpected. His form in front of goal completely contrasts that of their big-money No 9, Timo Werner. The German has 10 goals in 39 appearances – and has just two goals in his last 27 appearances for the Blues, leading to the speculation.