Leeds striker Patrick Bamford has revealed he was offered the chance to take part in ITV series Love Island earlier this year.
The star recently made his England debut against Andorra, having struck 17 goals last season for United. This season, Bamford has one goal and three assists from five appearances – form which has caught the attention of Liverpool.
However, his name could have reached a whole new audience had the Leeds man accepted an unexpected offer to appear on Love Island.
The ITV reality show is famed for pitching well-pruned men and women in search of coupledom on a tropical island.
Bamford though has lifted the lid on the telephone call he took offering him a place on the show. And Bamford, had he accepted, would have been the first professional footballer to appear on the show since its launch in 2015.
The likes of former Wolves midfielder Aaron Simpson and Wealdstone forward Dennon Lewis have, however, appeared on the programme.
Nonetheless, Bamford explained the saga prior to Leeds’ 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Friday night.
“Ironically, I was lying in bed one night when it was on,” Bamford told Sky Sports. “It must’ve been 11 o’clock and I got a phone call from a withheld number.
“I never normally answer it but I answered it and I can’t remember what his name was. Think it was Chris or something like that and he said: ‘Hi, it’s Chris from ITV’.
“I was so unsure what was going on. Then he said: ‘We’re just ringing up you about the dating show that’s going on at the minute, which is Love Island. Do you know how Casa Amor has just finished, we could do with a bombshell to go into the villa and we think you’d be perfect.’
“I just kept going along with it and he asked if I was up for going in but I don’t think my girlfriend would’ve been too happy. He then asked if she wanted to go in. So, I just kept playing along with it and it went a bit silly, it was so random as I’m not even sure who it was.”
Bielsa told Leeds star is major problem
Roberts stepped off the bench after 61 minutes of Friday’s 1-1 draw at St James’ Park. That continued his trend of featuring as a substitute for Leeds this season.
But he struggled to make an impact as the game fizzled out into a draw.
Now pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor has questioned if the Wales forward is good enough to play Premier League football.
“For me, he is not good enough for Leeds or Premier League level,” he stated.
“He has some decent touches and gets in good positions, but his passing and decision-making keeps letting him down.
“It must be frustrating to watch for Leeds fans as moves keep breaking down when Roberts is on the ball. It’s shocking how often that happens.
“I don’t see him as the answer for Leeds, even though Marcelo Bielsa has a lot of faith in him.”