Player of the Year in the Championship… The Premier League seems to be calling Patrick Bamford.
And it’s easy to see why, his 17 goals in the second tier make him one of the division’s most dangerous front-men, and naturally interest from the ‘big time’ is gathering.
Aston Villa appear to be at the front of the queue for the Chelsea owned starlet, who at 21 is one of English football’s most intriguing new talents.
A loan deal appears to make sense for all involved, and here are FIVE reasons why…
“I’d like to try and play at Chelsea, but I don’t want to spend next season sat on the bench – at this stage it’s important for my development that I play every week if possible.”
Bamford knows it; playing time at his age is key. After regular minutes on the pitch at Middlesbrough it would be a real shame for the player to return to Chelsea to sit on the bench.
Although talented, will Jose Mourinho really turn to the teenager ahead of Loic Remy if Diego Costa is injured or suspended? Unlikely given his pragmatic coaching style.
There are some doubts surrounding guaranteed game time at Villa, but the odds seem to be more in Bamford’s favour in the Midlands.
Say what you want about Tim Sherwood, but he gets the best from young players. The likes of Harry Kane and Nabil Bentaleb were handed chances at Spurs by the now Villa coach, with the former netting his first few goals and the latter proving himself to be a better option that big money signings Etienne Capoue and Paulinho.
Jack Grealish appears to be the latest fledgling talent being given responsibility by Sherwood, and the Irish/English (who knows!) talent has impressed.
Bamford himself may thrive under the Villa Park gaffer, whose ‘up and at ‘em’ style can get the best from emerging stars.
“I regard my long-term future being at Chelsea. Fingers crossed, I might be the man who saves [Mourinho] spending £30m.
“I’ve got to be patient, I’m still quite young. If I want to be a main striker at Chelsea, I need to get the chance to push people like [Didier] Drogba and [Loic] Remy and to see what I can learn off them.”
Well, Patrick, if you are serious about making a Chelsea impact you’ll not only have to compete with players such as Remy, but you’ll have to prove you can cut it in the Premier League.
The only way to do so is to play in the top tier, which Villa will offer him the chance to do. Staying at Boro appears the most logical move, but with Bournemouth and Watford taking up the automatic promotion slots, the North East side will have to chance their arm in the play-offs, and we all know what regularly happens to teams who have performed brilliantly all season that drop into the Wembley scrap!
Bamford getting a chance at a top club like Villa is truly excellent for English football and the Championship as a whole.
Aaron Cresswell has been, arguably, the left-back of the season and he was signed by West Ham from Ipswich, while there seems to be an increasing focus from midtable sides on talent in the tier below.
Another ‘step up’ would prove that the Championship is a viable route for players, which can only be good for the division.
Another aspect is how good it could be for emerging English youngsters to see another player making it in the top tier. Bamford’s drop through to League One and the Championship will prove to many that success can be achieved away from a club’s youth set-up and reserve sides.
This one may be a bit unsavoury to hear, but Villa could act as a shop window for Bamford. Chelsea are known to operate with a loan deal with a view to sell policy, which, albeit against the ethos of the game, is wise in an era of Financial Fair Play.
Should Bamford find the back of the net with some regularity and show promise, the premium on English talent may see clubs willing to spend upwards of £10m-£15m on him, which would be a massive profit for the Blues.