Should Mourinho give Patrick Bamford a chance in the first team next season?
Chelsea are on the verge of becoming deserved 2014/2015 Premier League champions during a campaig...
Chelsea are on the verge of becoming deserved 2014/2015 Premier League champions during a campaign in which they have dominated at the summit. Many outsiders may claim that Jose Mourinho’s side have been ‘boring’ in recent weeks, but it has merely been the sign of a professional team getting the job done after blowing everyone away through superb performances earlier in the season to put themselves in a commanding position. Although disappointing exits from the FA Cup and Champions League may be the only blemishes on an otherwise perfect copybook, Mourinho has certainly delivered on his promise that Chelsea would be strong contenders in his second season back at Stamford Bridge, with the team set to add the Premier League title to the League Cup they won at Wembley against rivals Tottenham.
The manager will already have one eye on preparations this season, and although Chelsea have remained one of the highest scorers in the league, striking options may be his first port of call during the transfer window. Diego Costa has enjoyed a wonderful first season in England by scoring nineteen goals in just twenty-four league appearances, but his hamstring injury, compiled with Didier Drogba and Loic Remy both failing to provide the same quality in front of goal, has left Chelsea short of options. One player who Mourinho could turn to is Championship Player of the Year Patrick Bamford, who looks more than ready for Premier League football after a wonderful season on loan at Middlesbrough. Bamford & Alli awards should spur Boro & Dons on to go up, but the 21-year-old may see his long-term future at Chelsea who could undoubtedly make the most of the ability he has shown throughout the season in the Championship. Numerous Premier League clubs have joined Middlesbrough in showing real interest in Bamford’s services, but Mourinho could do with a striker who offers pace, agility and a real eye for goal.
There can be no doubt that Bamford has been one of the shining lights in the Championship this season, with a seventeen goal haul propelling Middlesbrough into a wonderful league position. Although Boro have fallen just short in their efforts to secure automatic promotion, Bamford will play a major part for Aitor Karanka’s team during the play-offs in which they, alongside Norwich, will be strongly fancied to secure promotion to the Premier League at Wembley. Being awarded the Championship Player of the Year is a true testament to the impact that Bamford had made in front of goal, with the Chelsea striking proving his quality by scoring all different types of goals and creating a wonderful knack for being in the right place at the right time. Being his own worst critic is ultimately what drives Bamford on to become better, and while Middlesbrough would love to sign the 21-year-old if they go up, his wonderful finishing ability could be utilised by Mourinho next season.
Bamford certainly deserves to be given a chance in Chelsea’s first team, but whether he will remains to be seen. Many big clubs have been criticised for not giving young English talent a go in their team, but as Mourinho has already admitted that the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek would have been given much more playing time if Chelsea were in a more comfortable position in the league, then there is enough evidence to suggest that Bamford may fit into his plans for next season. However, such is the considerable wealth that Chelsea have at their disposal and the fact that many of the Blues’ rivals will look to spend big during the summer transfer window, there is a possibility that Bamford may be pushed further down the pecking order. Paulo Dybala is just one of a number of strikers who have strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, and while the highly-talented 21-year-old from Palermo would be a fantastic signing, it would be sad to see a player of Bamford’s ability leave the club without being given a chance to prove himself in a Chelsea shirt.