[dropcap]T[/dropcap]wo names screamed out from the seismic results in last Saturday’s FA Cup ties; Bradford City and Patrick Bamford. The Bantams for their win at Chelsea which must surely be the greatest result in the history of the competition. Patrick Bamford for what he does best, score goals, one of which helped his current club Middlesbrough win at Manchester City. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals but he was Johnny on the spot to slide the ball into the City net and send Boro on the way to FA Cup glory.
Patrick Bamford is a name that has been around for a long time but amazingly he is not 22 until September. He is one of the many unpolished diamonds I have been banging on about over recent times and just about one of the very best. Although still just 21 he has made more than 80 league appearances for five different cubs, but it is his scoring record that makes any observer sit up and take notice.
Although he never scored in his two appearances for his first club, Nottingham Forest he was still snapped up by Chelsea for £1.5 million. His scoring exploits for Forest’s youth team marked him out as a special talent. In one FA Youth Cup tie in January 2012, Bamford helped himself to five goals and three assists, as Wigan were vanquished 9-1. The following week he hit four against Southampton in a 5-1 victory and the week after that he was on his way to Stamford Bridge with a five year contract. Not bad for a young man who had to play full back at his rugby-playing High School because they did not play football, and a bright young man who turned down a scholarship at Harvard to pursue a career in football.
Patrick trained with the superstars of the first team at Chelsea and scored twice on his début for the reserves, his second was a penalty. Unable to break into the first team Patrick went on loan to MK Dons where he started to make a name for himself by scoring 18 goals in 37 appearances for Karl Robinson’s talented and vibrant team.
Derby County was Patrick’s next port of call and by the time he completed his loan with the Rams he had amassed a total of 25 goals. At the end of August 2014 the young striker began the third loan spell of his young career by joining Middlesbrough.
Patrick continued to find the net on a regular basis, although he did prove himself human by experiencing what most strikers do, a dry spell, in November. But goals started to flow again and those goals saw Boro emerge as a front runner for automatic promotion from the Championship. Bamford also earned an extension of his loan to the end of the current season.
Patrick Bamford is ready for a club to take a chance on him. Whether or not that club will be his parent club remains to be seen. José Mourinho’s track record at giving young, home grown talent, a chance is not good. He was even very reluctant to bring back Didier Drogba and sought a ready made striker in Diego Costa. Having said that Patrick is proving with every loan and every goal out on loan that he is improving with match action. He is mobile and intelligent, good in the air and on the ground. He scores all types of goals and can fit into any team pattern whilst still having that little extra that can turn a game in a flash.
Bamford made his own case succinctly after scoring against Manchester City, saying:
“I’ve played against three Premier League teams – Sunderland, Liverpool and now City and scored against all of them. I think it’s shown I can cut it at the top level, but we’ll see what happens.”
If the Special One isn’t prepared to give this particular unpolished diamond a chance at Chelsea it’s a given that another manager, somewhere, will already have copious notes on the England Under 21 striker who can continue to add to his current rate of goals, almost one every two games, whenever he plays.
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