Having started out his professional career as a precocious young teenager at Nottingham Forest, the future looked bright for Patrick Bamford. Like many talents, he was courted by the biggest clubs in the country, eventually signing for Chelsea. The move barely was a success, though, as the Englishman spent year after year on loan at various clubs, eventually winding up making a permanent move away from the club in search of first-team football.
Indeed, in his career so far he’s already played for clubs like Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Derby County, and Middlesbrough; it was actually from Teeside that he made his move to Leeds United to play. In his first season with the club, the first of coach Marcelo Bielsa, Bamford made a habit of missing as many chances as he put away. In total, he finished with 9 goals, before scoring an impressive 16 goals in the promotion-winning season. Despite obvious improvement in his link-up and goalscoring, Bamford was seen as a position that Leeds could easily upgrade upon.
Now, though? Now it would be hard for Lees to find a better striker for their needs. With just 1700 minutes in the Premier League so far this season, Bamford has a tremendous 11 goals and 4 assists. With a career-best 17 his previous finest tally, Bamford looks set to break his career high record for goals in the best team he has ever played for. Make no mistake – Bamford has well and truly arrived.
Can Bamford keep the run of form going?
After going through a mini-drought, he ended the goalscoring cold streak with goals at Leicester City, also setting up another. He has looked assured, consistent, and intelligent with the ball at his feet. At the same time, he has been making an impressive 3.4 shots per game; another career high.
2020-21 has been a tough year for many players, but Bamford appears to have grabbed the chance with both hands. So much so that there is legitimate talk of him going to the UEFA European Championships with England. Seen as a genuinely exciting talent for the future, there really is no doubting that Bamford, now 27, is making good on the immense promise that he had shown as far as a decade ago.
He has begun to make great chances to the way he plays, including linking up with teammates and avoiding ‘hero ball’ in taking needless shots. Take his assist against Leicester, for example; bursting through on goal, he had the option to pass the ball or take on another shot. Instead, he took the right option and laid the ball across the deck for his teammate, Jack Harrison, who slid home instead.
As one of the most exciting strikers in the top flight at the moment, Bamford appears to finally be right and ready for the top flight. Having shown consistent improvement across his career, it is clear that he has finally reached a level of confidence and comfort that ensures the future looks very bright indeed.