It goes without saying that Robbie Keane is the greatest striker ever to pull on the green shirt of the Republic of Ireland. Since Robbie retired the boys in green have really struggled to score goals and nobody has stepped up to the plate to bag the goals required which has made qualification for the big tournaments almost impossible. Over the years Robbie led the line practically on his own and if it wasn’t for him things could have been a lot worse for the Irish. New Irish manager Mick McCarthy needs to get a goalscorer for his squad and he needs to get one quick as the qualification for the 2020 European Championships starts at the end of March. Mick has turned his attention to the Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford who qualifies to play for Ireland under the famous so called granny rule. The same rule in which Declan Rice qualified for Ireland is now been used ironically to try and get Bamford to declare for Mick McCarthy,s squad. Bamford would be a big plus for the Irish side and he will surely work well and take a few tips off the newly appointed assistant manager Robbie Keane. Mick has already made contact with the Leeds United striker and they are set to meet up over the next few weeks to try and sort out what is required to get the player on board. It will be a great coup for McCarthy and it might just soften the blow of losing Rice to England.
Unless you are a Leeds United fan it is possible that you might have no idea who Patrick Bamford is and where he has come from. The twenty five year old has played for nine clubs during his short career including Nottingham Forest, Chelsea, MK Dons, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Norwich City and his present club Leeds. Patrick is not a total out and out striker as he can be just as effective as an attacking midfielder which can only be another plus for the Republic of Ireland manager. Bamford was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire and started out his career with Nottingham Forest. He qualifies to play for Ireland through his grandmother and has already played for Ireland at underage level before switching to play for England and earning caps up to under twenty one level. McCarthy needs to act fast to get this deal over the line as it will take a couple of months to get any paperwork done. There is no doubt the Irish could do with Bamford,s talent and goals as they move forward and given the chance it could be good for the player as well. Time will tell where this story will end, but it shows a lot about Mick McCarthy and the fact that he is prepared to have a good look around all the leagues to try and unearth any little nugget that can help Ireland,s cause and this can only be good news for the Irish fans.
By David Meier