Ireland boss Mick McCarthy to seek talks with potential Ireland recruit Patrick Bamford
Mick McCarthy is likely to seek talks with potential Ireland recruit Patrick Bamford after the striker got back on the goal trail with Leeds United.
The 25-year-old made his first appearance since August for Leeds in Saturday’s Championship clash with Bolton, and Bamford came up with the only goal of the game.
He had been ruled out since the summer due to injury but Leeds boss Marco Bielsa is hoping for a strong run of form from Bamford, a £7million signing from Middlesbrough.
And Ireland manager McCarthy will also keep tabs on a player who could strengthen his forward line if he can persuade Bamford to commit.
The forward is eligible for Ireland through a maternal grandparent but apart from an Irish U18 cap in 2010 in the same squad as current senior Ireland player Aiden O’Brien, his international experience has all been with the England underage teams.
But Bamford has never closed the door on a career with Ireland and while bringing Declan Rice back into the fold is a priority for McCarthy, he is keen to add to his squad and a forward like Bamford would be an addition to his panel.
For their part, Leeds are glad to have their summer signing back to fitness after three-month absence.
“It’s very positive to see Patrick Bamford in the team”, Leeds coach Carlos Corberan said.
“When the players have suffered a long-term injury, it’s always a hard process for them so it’s always good to see the player with us and ready to help the team.
“Patrick was working hard in during this long time and of course it’s positive for him and his level of confidence, and for the team too to have more players to have the full squad to help the team in any moment.”
Martin O’Neill was frustrated with the quality of strikers available to him in the latter days of his reign as Ireland boss and while McCarthy was encouraged to see Shane Long return from injury yesterday and claim an assist in their win over Arsenal, he is eager to see more options.
One man who come come into the frame is Portsmouth forward Ronan Curtis, as one of his Pompey team-mates has tipped the ex-Derry City man to be in a higher league next season if they don’t get promoted.
“He’s been fantastic for us. He’s got huge ability and hopefully we can go up because naturally there will be clubs circling if we don’t,” says Pompey defender Nathan Thompson after Curtis impressed again on Saturday for the League One table toppers.
“He’s very high on confidence and when you’ve got it it’s a fantastic asset.”