Should Bamford Be In Next Season’s Chelsea Squad?

Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford
Patrick Bamford, a player who has risen up through the Chelsea ranks from youth level and then, like many others, sent away to a lower league on a season long loan. Fans worry we’ll never get the chance to see him play for the first team, only to then be sold for a cut price fee in the not too distant future.

An all too familiar story really. However Bamford has really impressed during his loan spell in the North East with Middlesbrough this past season and the question is whether he will get chance to replicate his form with Middlesbrough for Chelsea next season.

Bamford’s Season at Middlesbrough
Bamford played an integral role in Middlesbrough’s push for promotion during the 2014/2015 campaign, where they came up just short in the playoff final to Alex Neil’s Norwich City. Bamford scored 19 goals for the championship side, 17 of those coming in the league, 1 in the Capital One Cup and 1 in their FA Cup fourth round tie away to Man City.

Bamford’s commendable efforts this season earned him the Championship player of the year award, an award he will no doubt be proud of and an award that rewards him for his successes on the pitch this past season for Middlesbrough.

Bamford had an average of 2.6 shots per game, and a healthy conversion rate, scoring at a rate of almost 1 goal every 2 games. 12 of Bamford’s 19 goals came at the Riverside, with 7 of them coming away from home. All in all a good season for the young striker and one which he would have hoped to have caught the eye of Jose.

Bamford has been a key man for Middlesbrough this season, whenever they needed a goal he seemed to be the player to pop up and supply that magic touch that got them out of a sticky situation. All in all his goals helped Aitor Karanka’s side gain 12 points, without him they would have finished the season a lot worse off, ultimately ending in 8th place and most importantly not even competing in the playoffs for a place in the Premier League.

When comparing him to other players in the Middlesbrough squad, Bamford’s stats are unrivalled by any of his teammates. Middlesbrough’s 2nd highest goal scorer, Kike, scored 12 goals. Bamford scored that amount of goals at the Riverside alone last season. With the two playing together, you start to get the picture of a formidable partnership.

Bamford v Will Hughes
In comparison to other attacking players in the Championship, Bamford is right up there in terms of goals. For instance, take Will Hughes of Derby, a player highly rated by many fans and pundits alike in the country – Bamford bettered his goal tally by quite a considerable distance.

Will Hughes finished on 3 goals for Derby last season, as well as only providing 5 assists.

Bamford, from a numbers perspective, outperformed Will Hughes – a player already dubbed as Premier League quality. Many feel this was the season that Bamford matured as a player.

Bamford v Charlie Austin
Yet another indication of how well Bamford has done is to look at what Charlie Austin did for QPR in the Championship during the 2013/2014 season. He scored the same amount of goals as Bamford has during the 2014/2015 season, 19.

Many thought that when he went on to play for QPR in the Premier League, he would struggle and not be able to replicate what he did in the Championship in the Premier League for QPR, however Charlie Austin had a great 2014/2015 season, ending up as the Premier league’s 4th top goal scorer, scoring 18 goals and being the shining light in QPR’s woeful season.

There’s no reason to suggest Bamford can’t succeed in the Premier League.

The positive side of Patrick Bamford’s game is his clear eye for a goal; his stats show that he is always willing to have a shot at goal with 0.7 of his 2.6 shots per game coming from outside the penalty area and 1.7 of his shots coming inside the penalty area. Bamford clearly seems to be getting into the right positions in order to score goals and this will obviously be drawn to the attention of Jose Mourinho when choosing his squad for next season.

Defensively Bamford made 0.4 tackles per game, conceding 1.6 fouls per game and picking up three yellow cards in the process. Bamford made just under one defensive clearance per game, which is to be expected. We all know that every player who appears in a Mourinho side must be willing to play for the team and not for themselves and this is where I feel Bamford will need to add to his game a lot more, the defensive side of things.

Bamford is not known for his tracking back and helping out in defence, but if he is to have any chance of breaking into the Chelsea first team then he has to add this defensive aspect to his all round game.

The Future
With the likes of Diego Costa, most probably Loic Remy and at least one more striker in the squad next season, it’s almost certain that Bamford will have to join a long and slow moving queue.

Bamford has given Mourinho something to think about in the summer and personally, I believe his performances have warranted a place on the 25 man squad list for next season.

His performances for Boro this season have evidently been impressive, his goal scoring ability is there for everyone to see and he could be a useful fringe player in Jose Mourinho’s squad for next season.

I believe that if he scores 10 goals in all competitions for Chelsea next season it will be a healthy return for a player who many doubted had the ability to perform for a club of Chelsea’s stature.

Now it’s up to Mourinho and whether he feels Bamford has the potential, ability and desire to cut it as a Chelsea first team player. As a fan, and I’m sure many are with me on this, I feel the time is right for Jose to call upon Bamford and let him show people what he can do in the best league in the world.