Football

Darren Randolph Might Hold The Key To Ireland's Goal-Scoring Woes

Darren Randolph Might Hold The Key To Ireland's Goal-Scoring Woes

If there is one thing Martin O'Neill's Ireland are in desperate need of as they look to bounce back from playoff humiliation against Denmark, it is goals.

In a strange turn of events, it is his first-choice goalkeeper Darren Randolph that may hold the key.

With many hoping that Sean Maguire's spectacular return to form with Preston North End could soon be replicated in an Irish jersey, Randolph's Middlesbrough club-mate Patrick Bamford could be another option.

Having represented Ireland at U-18 level and his native England at U-21 level, the Northern Echo are reporting that O'Neill is keen to encourage the 24-year-old to switch international allegiance once more.

One of Chelsea's serial loanees after joining the club from Nottingham Forest in 2012, Bamford's most recent deals with Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Burnley were less than convincing.

Yet, having joined Middlesbrough for good fifteen-months ago, the young forward finally seems to be finding his goal-scoring touch under Tony Pulis.

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With Pulis' side sitting two points clear of Bristol City in the Championship playoff places, Bamford has scored eight goals in his last five appearances; Middlesbrough claiming 13 points from an available 15 in the process.

According to Northern Echo, "it is understood Bamford has not ruled out the possibility of playing for Ireland, while Boro’s Ireland No 1 Darren Randolph will also do his best to persuade him to go green."

It is unknown whether O'Neill attempted to persuade Bamford to join the Ireland squad ahead of the upcoming international. However, with only Shane Long, Scott Hogan and Maguire the natural forwards in the squad, it goes without saying that Bamford's presence would be a welcome one.

How compelling a case Randolph can make for his club-mate to join him in the international ranks remains to be seen.

See Also: Former Chelsea Man Has "Information" On Mourinho/Ibrahimovic Fallout

Arthur James O'Dea

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