Chelsea have shown in recent years that they don’t mind selling promising young players, and the latest one to leave Stamford Bridge is 23-year-old English striker Patrick Bamford.
Middlesbrough have officially confirmed the signing of Bamford from the Blues, with the Englishman signing a four-and-a-half year deal with the Boro. He only recently returned from an unsuccessful loan spell at Burnley and the subsequent homecoming has proven to be short-lived.
Earlier reports had speculated that Chelsea would be getting an initial fee of £6 million, with add-ons that could take the price up to £10 million.
Bamford is one of the Blues’ massive loan army, and has ironically never played in a competitive fixture for the London outfit. They make a neat profit on the £1.5 million they had paid Nottingham Forest for the youngster back in 2012.
The English striker had shown great potential during his initial loan stints, at MK Dons in 2013-14 and Middlesbrough in 2014-15. He returns to the latter club hoping to emulate the form that saw him score 17 goals and win the EFL Championship Player of the Year award that season.
The move seems to be a great deal for all parties involved. Bamford will have the chance to develop and play a part in Middlesbrough’s battle for Premier League survival this season, with the Boro just four points above the relegation zone.
On the other hand, Chelsea are currently sitting pretty at the top of the table, with a seven point lead over second placed Tottenham Hotspur. The 23-year-old was unlikely to break into the Blues first team at any rate, and a transfer away will only help his cause.
One may make the case that he stood a chance to prove himself to Antonio Conte, given the situation with their first choice striker Diego Costa. However, Chelsea don’t have a great track record of promoting their young talent, and realistically, the Englishman was never in the running.
Bamford will also be thankful that he has broken free of the Blues bizarre loan system, which has seen many of their young players careers stagnate and has sparked criticism from some. He leaves Stamford Bridge with his only appearance for coming with the Chelsea reserves in a friendly against Gillingham.