The Republic of Ireland look set to be relegated from their UEFA Nations League group following their recent loss to Wales. One goal from Harry Wilson proved enough to give Wales the win and sink Martin O’Neill’s men.
Pressure is growing on the former Aston Villa and Sunderland manager, but O’Neill insists he is the right man to take Ireland to Euro 2020.
However, he is set to try and convince a Leeds United player to join him on that journey.
According to The Telegraph, O’Neill wants to convince Patrick Bamford to commit his international future to the Republic of Ireland.
Bamford, who has represented England up to under-21 level, joined Leeds for £7 million (YEP) from Middlesbrough this summer.
Despite being born in Grantham and playing for England at youth level, he is eligible for Ireland. He has one cap for their under-18 side and qualifies through his grandparents.
Unfortunately, Bamford is out with a posterior cruciate ligament injury until January, meaning he will not be featuring for Ireland in the November internationals.
But when Ireland do come calling Bamford should snap up the opportunity. The nation is struggling for strikers at present, with Aidan O’Brien and Callum Robinson starting against Wales. Bamford will feel he is a better option than that duo.
His chances of one day playing for England appear slim, not like they did when he won Championship Player of the Year in 2015.
So this may represent his best chance of international football. Leeds United fans will admit that Tyler Roberts’ exposure with the Welsh team has helped his confidence and performances. A similar impact for Bamford with Ireland would be welcomed upon his comeback.