Patrick Bamford is looking more and more likely to return to Chelsea in January, after Alan Pardew admitted that neither the player or his parent club were happy with the progress he’s been making in SE25.
Initially joining us with the intention of gaining a regular starting place in the Premier League, the former Middlesbrough loanee has failed to impress the management staff at Selhurst Park, playing just 16 minutes of Premier League football since making the switch in August, leading many to suggest that it would be better for all parties to cut their losses and go their separate ways.
Bamford’s plight hasn’t gone unnoticed, with both Keith Millen and Alan Pardew making direct references to the striker’s struggles when pressed for some context on the reasons behind his absence from the side, but as of yet, it doesn’t look as though he will be given the chance to prove any doubters wrong, with Pardew likely to stick with Dwight Gayle at the head of the side for the visit of West Ham tomorrow.
In many ways, Bamford isn’t solely to blame for his exclusion from the first-team, given the tactical approach we’ve adopted over the first few weeks of the 2015/16 season. Playing with a lone striker, flanked by a bevy of attacking midfielders, Patrick has seen his opportunities limited at best, with the likes of Gayle and Connor Wickham immediately jumping ahead of him in the pecking order as a direct consequence of their greater experience at Premier League level.
Pardew could easily call upon Bamford’s display at home to Shrewsbury as proof that he simply isn’t ready to lead the line for us from week to week and be backed to find the net regularly, but similarly, both of the aforementioned frontmen are still waiting for their first league goals of the campaign; leading Bamford to the feasible suggestion that he’s equally deserving of a chance to shine on the biggest of stages.
In reality, Patrick’s stint with us will probably go down as a mini-experiment gone wrong. There’s no need for any malice from either side, simply an acceptance that things could have easily been different were the player to have got a little bit of luck early on, rather than finding himself stranded on the bench for the vast majority of the early season fixtures.