Patrick Bamford makes a decision on his international future after his England snub for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers this week.
The 27 year old has finally ended any lingering hopes on any potential switch of his international allegiance to the Republic of Ireland.
The Leeds striker qualifies for the Irish outfit through a grandparent and won one Under-18 cap for the Republic in 2010.
Former Ireland bosses Martin O’Neill and Mick McCarthy had tried everything they could to try and persuade Bamford to turn his back on England and play for them.
Bamford however has narrowly missed out on a first Three Lions call up from Gareth Southgate and Republic boss Stephen Kenny tried to tempt him in as he tries to end their miserable run of seven games without scoring.
“He said that he wouldn’t like to stand in the way of another Irishman,” said Kenny.
“He said he wouldn’t want to do that, that his desire is to play for England.
“I never actually got to speak to him because he said that his ambition was to play for England.”
Bamford has played for the Three Lions at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-21 level with Southgate naming him in his preliminary squad for the 2015 Under-21 European Championships before he had to step away due to injury.
Bamford eager to remain in England contention, speaking to Sky Sports: “Every player who gets called up thoroughly deserves it. I think a few who thought they might get called up didn’t and are disappointed.
“I just need to keep working and see if I can get my name in contention for the Euros. If I keep going as I am I think I’m in with a shot. If you told me at the start of the season I’d be linked with England I’d say you were bonkers.
“If it comes, it comes. If not I’ll know I’ve done my best. It was in the back of my mind a little bit I guess. It gives you a bit of an extra fire in your belly.”
Meanwhile, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith sends Patrick Bamford a message as the Premier League man swallows up the England snub.
Smith felt two of his own players, Ezri Konsa and Matt Targett, were unfortunate to not get into the squad and, when talking about the duo, also admitted that Bamford has also been unlucky.
“They have been in very good form,” said Smith. “There are always players who are going to be unlucky.
“I think Patrick Bamford is also unlucky at Leeds United. There are lots of players that Gareth has to choose from, so I certainly don’t envy the role he has got.
“He also namechecks Matty Cash, who has been injured, unfortunately, so there are a lot of players out there who are pushing and Gareth will have a tricky job come the summer picking for the Euros.”
Smith’s words echo those of Southgate, who admitted that Bamford was close to getting a call-up.
He said: “Both Ollie and Patrick in particular, their goal record has been good, and we like the personalities of both of them.
“Ollie is a player we’ve had less interaction with in the past, it’s going to be good to get to know him.
“We like his pressing, we like his speed and runs in behind, he’s got some improvements to make in linking the game but, for his first season in the Premier League and at a big club, he’s done exceptionally well.
“It was a really close call because all of the things I said there about Ollie, I could have said about Patrick as well.
“He’s very unfortunate and who knows? We could be sitting here in a few days’ time, having had a problem, and Patrick’s a player we’re very much looking at as well.”
Bamford has certainly bee up for discussion on the weekend football shows, especially on Match of the Day…
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) March 20, 2021
Fans reacted as Patrick Bamford makes a decision on his international future after the England snub…
@SimonBarnes20: Good! If he feels English and only ever supported England then why should he play for another Country he has no passion about. He’s doing it the right way unlike others imo.
@5GsG5: Southgate not picking @Patrick_Bamford is his worst decision since choosing to take a penalty at euro 96. #lufc #england
@ethersby: Really feel for Bamford. So deserved an England call up, but keeps getting ‘maybe next time’. He shouldn’t waste any more of his international career when he could come play every single game and be an Irish legend.
@RedDogCam: I can’t find a legitimate reason why Ollie Watkins has made the England squad ahead of Patrick Bamford? Not one. Southgate doing Southgate things.
@Martydog1976: When Southgate got the job he picked players on merit and I loved He’s slowly turned into an FA boy. Proven by not picking the second best English striker in the prem. I’m a mackem. And I love bamford. Pure class
@LocoTharo: He should declare for Ireland and he will be guaranteed game time for years to come.
@MoistMurderer: @Patrick_Bamford never mind England, they may call you up and hate you if you miss a chance. Come play for Ireland where you can be a hero, think about, you would be easily the main man
@FplScientist: @Patrick_Bamford, please come and play for Ireland 🇮🇪. We’re pretty 💩 but we’ll actually select you for our squad. P.S. Thanks for being an #FPL legend for me! 🤩🔥
@JoeGwynneLUFC: More goals and more assists than Watkins but apparently Watkins is better.
@AndyStean: He keeps picking Dier, so he straight away went against his ethos of picking in form players
@Paulp695: The is Bamford good enough for England debate is one thing. But how the hell Ollie Watkins can get picked ahead of him with less goals and assists beggars belief!
@mikeyLUFC94: You could watch a whole game involving Villa and not notice Watkins on the pitch. Bamford isn’t good enough for England’s standard but he’s a far better option than Watkins
@sam_r14: How on earth has Ollie Watkins got into the England squad over Patrick Bamford.
@00evanstweet: Got zero interest in these England games coming up, constantly rebuilding with young players that have hardly had a kick at club level. Best RB in the world not in the squad ( AA) and one of the most inform forwards bamford left out @FA
More combined G/A than Vardy
More combined G/A than Rashford
More combined G/A than Grealish
More combined G/A than Calvert-Lewin
More combined G/A than Watkins
More combined G/A than Sterling
More combined G/A than Barnes
— bet365 (@bet365) March 19, 2021
— The Square Ball (@TheSquareBall) March 18, 2021