Following the news that Preston’s Callum Robinson was keen to make himself available for Ireland selection, another Championship striker has followed suit.
According to the Irish Independent, Middlesbrough’s Patrick Bamford is considering switching his international allegiance should Ireland manager Martin O’Neill choose to call him up to the squad.
The former Chelsea striker has been in tremendous form for Boro in the past few weeks, scoring eight goals in five games – including a hat-trick against Leeds in a 3-0 victory earlier this month.
Bamford comes with the added benefit of having already played for the Boys in Green at youth level. He made one appearance for the Ireland U18 side in 2010 before switching to England and playing for them at the same level, before going on to the U19 and U21 sides.
The 24-year-old’s chances of making the breakthrough for the Three Lions at senior level appear remote at best, however, so reverting back to Ireland would appear to be his best bet at playing full international football.
That being said, competition for forward places in the panel could be surprisingly strong, which would be a big change to the situation a year ago. With Robinson also possibly in contention, Sean Maguire and Scott Hogan also in fine form and Shane Long an established member of the Irish squad, places could be limited in O’Neill’s setup.
It is too late for Bamford to feature against Turkey, but it could well be the case that, should O’Neill follow up his initial interest in the player, he could be included for the friendly against France in May.