Patrick Bamford is desperate to put his failed loan spell at Crystal Palace behind him after joining Norwich City until the end of the season.
Having made quite a name for himself at Middlesbrough, the Chelsea academy star was expected by many to hit the ground running at Selhurst Park, but after being taken on by Alan Pardew in the summer, he struggled hugely to get any regular game time in SE25.
After being part of a squad who were riding the crest of a wave in the first few months of the season, few would have argued with Pardew’s decision to leave the 22-year-old out of his starting XI, but in Bamford’s mind, the treatment he received whilst on our books was unacceptable, a point of view he chose to air in front of the media shortly before his self-imposed return to Stamford Bridge.
In an unexpected outburst, the front man claimed he was left with no option but to leave the club after not being given an opportunity to prove himself, aiming a dig at the club’s collective strikers for not scoring, before singling out Connor Wickham for criticism. It is a moment he has since publicly apologised for, but as is always the case with words you utter in anger, the irreversible damage had already been done.
Now on the Canaries’ books, Bamford is keen to wipe the slate clean, clearly still full of belief in his own ability to succeed at the highest level. Although I’m not in the business of trampling over the dreams of any young footballer, it does feel as though he may be feeling a little too confident, given the fact that he is still waiting for his first-team debut at Chelsea and was never seen as ready for a Premier League start in the eyes of Alan Pardew.
His comments above are cleverly worded, in that they don’t explicitly place any blame or anger at Palace’s door, but express an obvious sense of indirect frustration at the approach our coaches had towards him during his loan spell.
Having scored plenty of goals at Middlesbrough, Bamford will understandably be desperate to do so under the piercing lights of the top flight, using the “tough time” he endured at Palace as a motivation for any success he may enjoy.
He’s certainly not a man to hide away from the press when they’re searching for a quote or two.