I don’t often indulge myself and write just about my team Middlesbrough but I am making an exception today as yesterday Patrick Bamford was heavily linked with a move back to The Riverside Stadium according to this article from HITC Sport. Now this is either great news, or a move that is purely sentimental depending on who you ask. So lets break down the arguments for and against Middlesbrough resining and see which is more persuasive.
When Chelsea first loaned Bamford to Middlesbrough for the duration of the 2014/15 season it is hard to argue that the move was not a success. Bamford scored 19 goals in 44 appearances through all competitions, and 17 of those goals came in the league as he helped spearhead Middlesbrough’s first genuine promotion challenge since being relegated from the Premier League. Bamford was named Championship Player of the Season for 2014/15 and arguably his injury at the very end of the campaign cost Boro an automatic promotion spot.
His form in the 2014/15 is the main reasons Boro fans want him back. He’s easily the most prolific striker we have had under Aitor Karanka, who values defensive solidity above attacking prowess. Moreover he’s a genuine alternative to Negredo as Karanka is very reluctant to use David Nugent or Jordan Rhodes, both of whom look set to leave Teesside this month. Bamford is also versatile as well, he can play on the right wing which is an area Boro need to strengthen regardless of Bamford’s arrival. Also if a permanent move is secured it would only cost around £4 million, a bargain for a promising English striker.
There are obvious drawbacks to Bamford however. For starters he has flopped at Crystal Palace, Norwich and Burnley. His three loan spells in the Premier League have resulted in precisely zero goals. In his defence he has not been given significant game time at any of these three clubs, although the counter argument to that point is that he should be good enough to break into these sides.
There is no questioning Bamford’s ability but whether he can hack it in the Premier League is yet to be seen. If he can make it anywhere it will be Boro, as its a team and manager he’s had success with in the past. I would love him to come back as he is an alternative to Negredo (and Gestede) that Karanka will actually use and he may challenge George Friend and Bernado Espinosa as the best looking player at Boro. Not that that should be our transfer policy.
Anyway that’s all for now and contact me on twitter @cameroneyles or comment below to share your thoughts on Boro potentially resigning Patrick Bamford.