Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford has now officially joined Crystal Palace on loan,so now is the time for him to prove he’s a Premier League quality player.
Middlesbrough, who had Bamford on-loan last season, were interested in re-signing the striker who impressed in the North East, however the Blues were keen for the youngster to gain top level experience after he earned his stripes playing all of his football in League One and the Championship.
It was last season in the Championship for Boro where the Blues striker really did impress. Scoring 17 league goals, he fired his team towards promotion only for them to fall at the last hurdle in losing the play-off final to Norwich.
Bamford impressed so much he was nominated for the Football League Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards, where he won the former of the two.
It was the Chelsea man’s breakthrough season as he made everyone sit up and notice the undoubted talent he has, but now is the time to prove his Premier League class.
The Eagles finished 10th last season – their highest ever Premier League finish. Alan Pardew has already completed the signing of French International Yohan Cabaye- a big indication that Bamford is going to a club moving in the right direction. There is no doubting this is a good move for the Blues forward as he is joining a club with some real momentum, however it is still a big step up for the striker.
As he has never played a Premier League match in his career so far, it will be a big test. Bamford will be anxious himself to know whether he can cut it at the top level. That anxiety may play on the mind of the Blues striker, but it shouldn’t be an issue as the forward’s game does look suited for the style of the Premier League.
He has good technical ability which allows him to play up front or even in a withdrawn role in attacking midfield off of the main striker. The former Forest man is not blessed with a huge amount of pace, but at 6ft. 1″ he has the height and strength to make up for it, he has clever movement, a deft touch and is a great finisher in front of goal.
He has all the technical attributes and physicality to make the step up to the Premier League and at Palace, Bamford does indeed look likely to feature a fair bit next season.
His main competition for the striking role comes in the shape of Glenn Murray and Dwight Gayle, who scored 7 and 5 goals respectively last season as neither really nailed down the striking role in South East London. Although Murray did finish the season strong scoring in 5 games in a row towards the back end it does look likely with the signing of the Blues forward that the 31-year-old won’t be first choice for Pardew as he looks to the future.
Gayle will provide competition for Bamford but the former Peterborough man hasn’t convinced so far in the Premier League and due to his versatility, he was often found out wide on the left. So it does look as though Bamford could be the main striker for Palace next season.
And with the likes of Zaha, Cabaye and Bolasie creating chances for the former Boro man he is at the right team to offer him the best chance to grow and develop as a player.
The prospects do look good for Bamford, he has the talent and ability and he just now needs to transfer that to the Premier League with the Eagles.