Patrick Bamford has certainly caused a stir and made headlines this season.
You may remember him for his goal against Manchester City in the FA Cup, which contributed to the eventual 2-0 score line that knocked the current Premier League champions out of the competiton. The shock result shone a light onto Bamford, who is sure to have a bright future in football.
Bamford is just one of the Chelsea youngsters who is making waves at the moment. The likes of Nathan Aké, Lewis Baker, Tomas Kalas and Jamal Blackman are all impressing, with the Blues a huge advocate of the loan system.
Jose Mourinho has spoken incredibly highly of Lewis Baker, tipping him for the England national side within a few years; Mourinho even said he would be to blame if Baker does not make it to the national side under his management. Lewis Baker is currently on loan to League One outfit MK Dons, and impressed on his home debut with Karl Robinson’s men, scoring a stunning goal.
Nathan Ake had previously been tipped to be loaned out but Jose Mourinho had promoted Ake to the first team for this season. Not bad, as he had won Chelsea’s Young Player of the Year for 2013. His first appearance for Chelsea came in their 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers in the League Cup. At only 20 years of age, Ake is sure to become a star under Mourinho.
Joining Patrick Bamford at Middlesborough is Tomas Kalas. Kalas had previously been on loan to Bundesliga outfit FC Koln, which was a nightmare move for the 21-year-old, who found himself out of favour very quickly. It’s a different story at Middlesborough where he has been praised for his adjustment to playing right back under Spanish tactician Aitor Karanka.
Jamal Blackman had also been on loan at Middlesborough, but was recalled by the Blues in January following Mark Schwarzer’s move to Leicester City. As a goalkeeper, he has stiff competition from the massively in-form Thibaut Courtois, and of course Petr Cech. As long as those two are there and fit, Blackman will struggle to get a look in, and may have a brighter career elsewhere.
If kids are the future, the ones associated to Chelsea are in line to do very well within the next few years. They are all in their late teens or early twenties, but are already playing incredibly well. Patrick Bamford will surely be a big name player if he continues the way he is going, and could find himself being a regular at Stamford Bridge. Ake has already managed to break into the first team, and will be one to watch as the season progresses. Kalas and Baker have certainly impressed during their loan deals.
Jose Mourinho will have a strong side of youngsters to choose from for next season.