Is there any way back for Patrick Bamford?

Tuesday 14th April 2015. This was the last time striker Patrick Bamford scored a goal. He was playing for Middlesbrough in the Championship against Wolves and scored the winner for his side.

Bamford began his career at Nottingham Forest where he joined the academy at eight-years-old before Chelsea came calling in 2012. He joined the Blues on a five year contract for a fee of around £1.5 million. The England international then experienced seven loan spells: Milton Keynes Dons, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Burnley. Some of those loan spells were more successful than others.

Ironically, Bamford’s last successful loan spell was at Middlesbrough during the 2014/15 season. He scored 19 goals for Boro as they reached the Championship play-offs in May 2015. This lead to him being named Championship Player of the Year.

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With Boro missing out on promotion, he returned to Chelsea. Three loans spell at Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Burnley followed. Bamford made just 19 appearances for all three clubs and didn’t score any goals during that period.

Bamford left Chelsea in January to re-join Middlesbrough on a permanent basis in January for approximately £5.5m on a four-and-a-half-year deal. Things have not gone to plan so far. He has made just four appearances for Boro with three of them coming from the bench. The last time Bamford played was on the 4th of February during the FA Cup fourth round at home to Accrington Stanley.

He might be determined to play in the Premier League but sometimes determination isn’t enough. Bamford has made 22 appearances in the top tier of English football and is yet to find the back of the net or provide an assist. Perhaps Bamford is only capable of being a Championship player.

At the age of 23, Patrick Bamford still has plenty of time to come good. With Rudy Gestede injured against Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-final defeat, Bamford could be restored to the bench for Sunday’s game against Manchester United. Aitor Karanka has always had faith in Patrick Bamford but this can only last for so long if Bamford keeps failing to force his way into the first team.

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