Chelsea loanee Patrick Bamford hasn’t enjoyed his first few months in SE25, starting just once for Alan Pardew’s side (in the Capital One Cup against Shrewsbury) and now it seems as though Mourinho and co. are getting increasingly worried.
The Blues are no strangers to letting their players leave Stamford Bridge on a temporary basis, indeed more than 30 of their squad are currently on loan elsewhere, but it seems as though both Chelsea and the player himself had assumed that he would feature week in, week out at Selhurst Park, before returning to the King’s Road in a blaze of glory at the start of the 2016/17 season.
Sadly for both of the aforementioned parties, life is seldom as straightforward as that, with Bamford struggling hugely to edge ahead of Dwight Gayle, Connor Wickham and Fraizer Campbell in the Palace pecking order. Such has been Chelsea’s frustration at Patrick’s lack of game time that they are considering recalling the frontman in January in an attempt to salvage something from his season before it’s too late.
For all of the bluster, there should be no blame placed at our feet for Bamford’s failure to make a significant impact in South London, given the competition for places in Alan Pardew’s matchday squad. Far from being a finishing school for the Premier League’s “elite” clubs, we are doing our level best to select teams that are capable of winning games; a feat which, since August, we have managed far more easily than Jose and his merry band of multi-millionaires.
In truth, real questions have to be raised over the motivation behind Chelsea’s attitude towards the loan market in general, such is the frequency with which they buy up young talent before promptly packing them off across Europe for nine months at a time, often never to be seen anywhere near a Chelsea shirt again. Is Bamford ever likely to become a first-team regular at Chelsea regardless of his highs and lows in red and blue? Doubtful. More to the point, if he can’t provoke Alan Pardew to risk using him in a league game for us, what chance does he have of convincing Mourinho or whoever eventually follows him that he is the man to fire them to a Premier League title.
Ideally, both clubs and the player would meet, agree that it hadn’t worked out as first hoped and go their seperate ways, but as is often the case in matters that involve the defending champions, blame is being rapidly kicked away from their doorstep and in our direction, which simply isn’t right. Not that we should expect anything else in the circumstances.