Remembering Patrick Bamford's time at Chelsea

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As with so many before and after him, Patrick Bamford’s Chelsea career was a story of frustration and failed loans.

Despite spending five years at Stamford Bridge, Bamford never made a competitive appearance for the Blues.

Instead, he endured six temporary deals with MK Dons, Derby, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Burnley all with varying degrees of success – before he was finally sold to Boro in 2017.

Patrick Bamford
Bamford’s spell at Norwich was one of three poor top flight loans | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Despite ultimately being deemed not good enough to lead the line for Chelsea, Bamford has proved many of his doubters wrong this season by netting 11 goals and assisting another six in 21 outings – including a strike against his former employers. He netted the 100th of his career in the home game against Crystal Palace.

Remarkably, that form has seen him linked with an unlikely return to the club that signed him from Nottingham Forest all those years ago by the Spanish media.

Such a deal might seem tempting to the 27-year-old on the face of it, but he knows the perils of being on the fringes at Stamford Bridge better than anyone, and Chelsea really do not have a good record with striker signings.

Having signed for Chelsea, Bamford spent one-and-a-half years on loan with MK Dons in League One, scoring 21 goals in 44 appearances for the club and earning a recall and immediate loan to Championship Derby.

A productive half season with the Rams preceded a very good full campaign with Middlesbrough in 2014/15, with the loanee netting 19 time is 44 games. However, that was actually where things started going awry.

Having earned a Premier League loan, his time with Palace spelled the first of three barren spells in the top flight – first with the Eagles, and then with Norwich and Burnley. He failed to score for any of them.

After he was recalled from his unproductive spell at Burnley in January 2017, the west London club decided to cut its losses and let the then 23-year-old depart on a permanent basis to Boro for around £6m.

Fast-forward four years and Bamford’s turnaround has been remarkable. The Leeds man has found his Premier League feet at long last and it looks like he will be playing in the division for years to come.

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