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Report: Mick McCarthy To Speak With Ireland-Eligible Patrick Bamford

Report: Mick McCarthy To Speak With Ireland-Eligible Patrick Bamford
By Gary Connaughton
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New Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy is hoping to speak with Leeds striker Patrick Bamford over the possibility of a call-up to the Irish squad.

The Irish Independent are reporting that the player is of interest to McCarthy, as he looks to bolster his striking options.

Bamford is eligible for Ireland due to his maternal grandmother, and has previously earned one Irish cap at U18 level. The rest of his international experience has come with England however, including two caps for the country's U21 side.

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The striker was viewed as one of the rising prospects in the English game during his time at Chelsea, scoring 17 goals on a loan spell at Middlesbrough in the 2013/14 season. His career has taken somewhat of a downturn since then, with injuries playing a major part.

Back at Middlesbrough last season, he scored 12 goals, enough to convince Leeds United to pay £7million for his services. This made him the club's most expensive player in 17 years. Having missed the start of the season due to injury, the player got back on the goal scoring trail at the weekend, scoring the only goal of the game in his club's meeting with Bolton Wanderers.

Bamford has always seemed open to a return to the Irish fold, and would seem to be an attainable target. Ireland have struggled to score goals in recent years, with a lack of quality strikers in the squad. A player of Bamford's still largely untapped potential would be an excellent option to have at McCarthy's disposal.

It appears as though our options up front are only going to grow in the coming years, with a number of young talents starting to emerge. Michael Obafemi looks an exciting prospect, while Troy Parrott is on the fringes of the Spurs first team squad at only 16-years old. Brighton's Aaron Connolly has also been tearing it up in the Premier League 2, and looks another option in the future.

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