Ok, so technically, Patrick Bamford isn’t a true Football Leaguer. But the 20 year-old has been scoring for fun during loan spells with MK Dons and Derby County this season, and the chances of him being issued a first team role at parent club Chelsea any time soon remain exceptionally slim.
The England U21 netted 14 goals in 23 League One outings for the Dons in the first half of the campaign, paving the way for a Championship loan switch in January.
Upon joining the Rams, despite his game-time being notably slashed, Bamford found eight goals and three assists in 21 Championship outings – hardly a disappointing return for the Grantham-born striker’s first proper taste of second-tier football.
It’s been Bamford’s ability to adapt that suggests he has the makings of a future star; although physically he lacks power and pace, the former Nottingham Forest graduate made his quality tell for Derby, producing a number of exceptional finishes and joining in with Steve McLaren side’s aesthetic build-up play.
Prior history of cashing-in on highly-rated youngsters suggests the Blues will be willing to sell – but the 6 foot 1 forward has attracted a wealth of Premier League interest this season.