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Dublin: 0°C Friday 4 December 2020

Bamford's England call-up 'dream' effectively rules out Ireland chances after stunning Leeds form

The Leeds United striker has scored six goals in as many games this season, including a hat-trick last weekend.

Patrick Bamford with the match ball after his hat-trick exploits last week.
Patrick Bamford with the match ball after his hat-trick exploits last week.
Image: PA

PATRICK BAMFORD HAS made his international intentions clear, saying an England call-up would be a “dream” after his glittering start to the Premier League season.

That said, the Leeds United star stresses he has a long way to go before fulfilling that ambition.

These comments effectively rule out Bamford representing Ireland at senior level and come a little over a year since he said, “I have not said yes, I have not said no” while discussing his Irish allegiance after contact from then-manager Mick McCarthy.

The English-born striker qualifies to play for the Boys In Green through the grandparent rule, and did so with the U18s, before representing his country of birth up to U21 level.

And it appears that he wants to continue on that trajectory, despite excitement once again from Ireland fans after his stunning hat-trick against Aston Villa last week, which brought his goalscoring tally to six in as many games this season.

His eye-catching recent form and becoming the first Leeds player to score a Premier League hat-trick since Mark Viduka 17 years ago has also led to calls for Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to consider Bamford for a first senior call-up, something the 27-year-old would relish.

“That would be a dream,” he told talkSPORT yesterday.

“The important thing for me is that I’ve played six games and done quite well in those games, but it’s unfair for me to compare myself to the other England strikers who have been doing it for a long time at this level.

“They are more worthy at the minute.

“I think by the end of the season if I’m still doing it and I’m up there in the top scorers charts then we can talk about whether or not I deserve a place in the England squad.”

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Bamford, who was previously on the books at Chelsea, came to Elland Road from Middlesbrough in July 2018.

This season marks his fifth stint in the Premier League having also endured difficult loan spells at Crystal Palace Norwich and Burnley. After numerous setbacks and injury struggles, Bamford also paid tribute to Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa for his backing.

“Since he’s come in he’s put his faith in me from the beginning. There was tough times last season when he stuck by me because as long as I was working for the team, even if I wasn’t scoring, he still had this belief in me.

“There’s a big thing there where I feel like I need to repay him and I’ve a good start with six goals and that goes some way to repaying him.”

- The42′s weekly columnist David Meyler shared some thoughts on Bamford’s situation in his piece this week.

The42 GAA Weekly is here! Join hosts Shane Dowling and Marc Ó Sé as they preview Tipperary v Limerick, Donegal v Tyrone, and the rest of the weekend’s action:

Source: The42 Podcasts/SoundCloud

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Emma Duffy

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