The England national sides are not as competitive as they ought to be for many reasons, yet the one that sticks out like a sore thumb is the fact that younger English footballers, you could say all British lads actually, are not receiving the opportunities to play regular elite level football like many of their more developed foreign counterparts are being allowed to do in leagues where the domestic to foreign player ratio is far healthier. There has been massive debate regarding how best to ensure that there are more talented young home-grown talents coming up through the ranks and playing Premier League football while strengthening the depth of English football at all levels, many have suggested an increase in home-grown players being registered as part of the 1st team squad and that would lead to far more opportunities being made available to young lads at Premier League level. Once such talent is England youth international Patrick Bamford, the talented goal machine who was recently crowned Championship Footballer of the Year at the Football League Awards; the accolades have been deserved for a lad that has led the line with aplomb for a promotion chasing Middlesbrough F.C. side for whom he has notched up 19 goals in all competitions so far with 8 assists to boot in his 41 appearances to date.
Before Kane, there was Bamford; there wasn’t too much surprise on view when Chelsea F.C. snapped up an 18 year old Bamford from Nottingham Forrest F.C. on deadline day of the January transfer window in 2012 for £1,5m as The Blues had been investing in young players with great potential and loaning them out to play competitive football before assessing their readiness for first team action at the club or selling them on for a handsome profit and keeping the club in line with Financial Fair Play regulations. The intellectual Bamford is not your average footballer, the lad turned down a scholarship to enrol at Harvard University for a shot at his football dream, that enlightened mind led the Grantham born forward to understand that his performances on loan will be his ticket to a first team slot at Chelsea and a platform for greater successes in the beautiful game. When Chelsea failed to win the league last season, gaffer José Mourinho bemoaned the lack of a striker and how it hampered his side from attaining their desired level of success; they should win the league this season even with this mini-striker crisis that they are going through, yet The Blues have failed to maintain the impressive offensive displays we saw during the early stages of the season and their quest for success on all fronts was limited to two competitions due to a general lack of rotation and genuine quality in depth at key positions.
Patrick Bamford has stated his desire to return to Cobham and fight for his jersey, yet we at GSV truly feel as if the lad has fought for the right to be included in that first team squad next season as he has truly paid his dues; Costa is prone to the odd suspension or injury induced absence, Remy is a good backup striker and Bamford would make a quality home-grown addition to the frontline with club legend Didier Drogba moving onto a coaching role another forward being brought in to create for a versatile and potent offensive threat that would make the team more competitive on all fronts. Chelsea have a wealth of home-grown talent available to them, their side has continuity for the next 8 years if they handle the players well and alter their selection policy to integrate more of these lads into the squad; Patrick Bamford could become the lad that changes the perception of the buy-to-loan policy at Chelsea as he has proven that the loan route can actually develop a players game even further and make him even harder for his parent club to blank. If Bamford is afforded the chance to break into that first team squad, the perception regarding Chelsea as a club that doesn’t develop talent would gradually begin to change for the better; that change In thinking would impact positively on player recruitment at all levels and that would allow the organization a advantage over their rivals when it comes to recruiting promising young talents. While it may have been hard to assess his readiness for elite level football when Chelsea bought him after 2 appearances that amounted to 13 minutes spent on the pitch for Forrest, The Blues bought a player on his potential alone and that was a risk worth taking at £1,5m; but Bamford is far more than a lad playing off potential now, he has exceeded expectations while handling the pressure of leading the line for a Boro side that are very similar structure to Chelsea and the experience garnered from what should be his last loan spell should put the young lad in good stead. Patrick Bamford is the EPL equivalent of a first round draft pick that was sent to the Minor Leagues to hone his game, after a couple of years spent out on loan, Bob’s your nan’s second born son Patty has earned his shot in The Show.
Full Name: Patrick James Bamford
DoB: September 5th, 1993 (21)
PoB: Grantham, Lincolnshire; England
Position/s: Advanced Playmaker, Deep-Lying Forward, Advanced Forward, Complete Forward, Target Man
Preferred Foot: Left
Height: 1, 85m
Club: Middlesbrough F.C. (On loan from Chelsea F.C.)
Contract Expiry (Boro): May 30th, 2015
Contract Expiry (Chelsea): June 30th, 2017
Current Value: £ 2,3m
Previous Clubs: Nottingham Forrest F.C. (01-12), Milton Keynes Dons F.C. (12-13), Derby County F.C. (14)
Record (All Competitions)
|Milton Keynes Dons||12-13||44||21||18||6|