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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

All you need to know about the latest English-born player being linked with Ireland*

*NOT Jack Grealish, somone else.

Bamford has scored 19 goals for Middlebrough.
Bamford has scored 19 goals for Middlebrough.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

AMID ALL THE talk of Jack Grealish lately, one other player’s suggestion that he might be interested in playing for Ireland has slipped somewhat under the radar.

Patrick Bamford may not have starred in an FA Cup semi-final, but he can has one thing that Grealish does not — regular game time at a relatively high level.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about Middlesbrough’s on-loan Chelsea striker.

  • Bamford has impressed in the Championship this year, scoring 19 goals for Middlesbrough and earning Player of the Year in the league as a result.
  • The jury remains out as to whether he can perform at the highest level for Chelsea or someone else, but like Grealish, he has one fine FA Cup display against a big club to his name, as Bamford put in an influential performance when Middlesbrough beat Man City earlier this season, scoring the first goal (see below).

Source: FATV/YouTube

  • He has actually played for Ireland before at U18 level, however he was born in Lincolnshire, England and qualifies for the Irish team through the grandparent rule. Moreover, he ultimetely switched allegiance to England at underage level, and has since played for their U18s, U19s and U21s.
  • Middlesbrough are not the first club that the 21-year-old has played for on loan. After Chelsea signed him as a teenager for £1.5million from Nottingham Forest, he scored 18 goals in 37 appearances during two loan spells at MK Dons between 2012 and 2013. Before moving to Middlesbrough, he also scored eight goals in 21 appearances for Derby. Overall, his record is not bad when you consider that fellow young striker Harry Kane, to whom Bamford is often compared, scored just two goals in 13 appearances for Leicester in 2013 and five in 18 for Leyton Orient in 2011.

Source: Beanyman/YouTube

  • Man City are not the only Premier League team to whom Bamford has done damage. He also scored a penalty in the last minute of extra-time against Liverpool during the sides’ League Cup clash back in September.
  • In general, he is quite prolific around the box if given half a chance, as the compilation below demonstrates.

Source: Vidsball/YouTube

  • Bamford’s natural finishing ability has been honed from a very young age — the player joined Nottingham Forest’s academy as an eight-year-old, though he attended a rugby-playing school, and had a brief stint as a fullback in the sport.
  • He excelled in school — so much so that he was offered a scholarship by Harvard University, which he turned down in order to pursue a career in football.
  • While preferring to play up front, the 21-year-old is versatile enough to play as a left winger if needed.
  • Bamford is on speaking terms with Niall Horan of One Direction fame, and Jose Mourinho texts Horan about Bamford “all the time,” according to this Guardian article.

Source: KizzoSportHD/YouTube

  • In feature articles, he is invariably described as a ‘nice lad,’ or something along those lines, but he undoubtedly has a self-confident, fiery side. The youngster fought with a more senior player, Kike Garcia, over the right to take a penalty during a 2-0 victory over Rotherham earlier this season, and ended up missing. To his credit though, Bamford subsequently apologised. He added: “To be honest that should stay inside the changing room… We know before the game who the penalty taker is, that is put up on the board in the changing room. It was me, but it is all sorted now.”
  • He is optimistic about stepping up to a higher level at Chelsea, saying in a recent interview
    “Most strikers playing in the Premier League regularly are aged around 23 or 24. At a club like Chelsea they have the money to buy world class strikers like Diego Costa and there’s also that pressure to win trophies, I just have to stick with it, be patient and hopefully my rewards will come. I want to play for Chelsea, I hope I do get that chance and I think I can compete.”

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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