Patrick James Bamford (born 5 September 1993) is an English professional footballer who plays for Chelsea. Bamford plays as a centre forward, but is additionally capable of playing an attacking midfield role.

He began his career at Nottingham Forest, making his debut on 31 December 2011, and a month later joined Chelsea for a fee of £1.5 million. Chelsea then loaned him out to Milton Keynes Dons, Derby County, Middlesbrough with whom he won the Championship Player of the Year, and eventually Crystal Palace.

Capped once for the Republic of Ireland at under-18 level, he later changed allegiances to England, whom he has represented up to under-21 level.

Early life

Bamford began life in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and raised in the small, nearby village of Norwell in Nottinghamshire. He joined Nottingham Forest's Academy as an eight-year-old after playing junior football for Muskham Cougars.[5] He attended Nottingham High School, where due to the lack of a school football team he played Rugby Union as a full-back, until the end of Year 10. Bamford ended up with five A*s, three As and two Bs at GCSE. He did A-Level French, History, Biology and General Studies and attained 3 grades at B and another at C.[6] Bamford was offered admission by Harvard University, but he rejected the offer to continue his football career.[7][8]

Career

Nottingham Forest

Bamford was an unused substitute throughout Forest's League Cup Third Round tie against Newcastle United at the City Ground on 21 September 2011, a 3–4 defeat after additional time.[9] He made his Forest debut against Cardiff City in a 0–1 home defeat on 31 December, coming on as a substitute for Matt Derbyshire with 12 minutes remaining.[2] He appeared in Forest's next game on 2 January 2012, coming on again as an added-time substitute for Andy Reid as Forest beat Ipswich 3–1 at Portman Road.[2] On 19 January, Bamford furthered his claim to a place in the Forest side by scoring five and setting up three goals in a 9–1 victory over Wigan Athletic youth in the FA Youth Cup, and the following week scored four goals in a 5–1 win over Southampton.

Chelsea

On 31 January 2012, Bamford joined Chelsea on a five-year contract for a fee of £1.5 million.[2][2] On 8 February 2012, he started to train with Chelsea's first team squad. He made his debut for Chelsea Reserves in a friendly against Gillingham at Cobham with Chelsea emerging victorious 5–4. Bamford netted his first goal in Chelsea colours, rounding off a tidy team move and additionally scored his second, the winner from the penalty spot.[2] On 21 July 2015, Bamford signed a new three-year contract with Chelsea before being loaned out to Crystal Palace for the upcoming season.[17]

Milton Keynes Dons (loan)

On 22 November 2012, he signed on loan at Milton Keynes Dons until 7 January.[2] He made his debut three days later against Colchester United, and ended the match with three assists. Karl Robinson said that he hoped Bamford would stay until the end of season.

On 31 January 2013, Bamford's loan was extended until 20 May,[2] having impressed enough before sustaining a hamstring injury. On 19 March, he netted the first goal of his professional career at Crewe Alexandra's Gresty Road.[2]

On 1 July, Chelsea extended Bamford's loan to MK Dons until 5 January 2014.[2] Bamford scored 14 league goals in 23 appearances for MK Dons throughout this six-month period, and thus received speculation that he would be sent on loan to a club at a higher level. On 31 December, Karl Robinson confirmed that Bamford won't be returning to MK Dons after his loan deal expires.[22] This club was later announced as Derby County. He made his last appearance for The Dons on 4 January 2014, where he scored his seventeenth goal of the season in the closing stages of a 3–3 draw against the holders Wigan Athletic in the third round of the FA Cup.[23]

Derby County (loan)

On 3 January 2014, Derby County confirmed the signing of Bamford on a loan until the end of the season.[24] Bamford made his debut for Derby as a substitute on 10 January 2014, in a 4–1 away defeat to Leicester City.[25] His first goal came in his next game, at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, when he opened the scoring in the 76th minute after coming on as a 59th-minute substitute for Simon Dawkins. He dedicated the goal to his godfather, former Nottingham Forest chairman Nigel Doughty.[26] On 24 January, Bamford won the Football League's Young Player of the Month award for December following his performances on loan at MK Dons.[27] One day later, he scored his nineteenth goal of the season in a 1–1 draw against Blackburn Rovers.[28] Bamford continued his great form – he scored in the next two matches, against Yeovil Town on 28 January[29] and against Birmingham City on 1 February.[30] On 18 February, Bamford's strike earned Derby a 1–0 win at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday.[31] Bamford failed to score in the next 6 games for Derby however on 25 March he scored a goal in a 2–1 loss against Ipswich Town.[3] In the next game on 29 March against Charlton Athletic, he scored the second of three goals, capitalising on an error by the captain Johnnie Jackson in the 38th minute.[3] He continued his goalscoring form as he scored his 25th goal of the season away from home against Blackpool on 8 April.[3]

Middlesbrough (loan)

On 29 August 2014, Bamford joined Middlesbrough on loan until 1 January.[3][3] Bamford made his debut for Boro as a substitute on 30 August 2014, in a 1–0 home defeat to Reading.[3] On 20 September he scored his first goal for Boro on his first start for the club in a 4–0 home win over Brentford.[3]

Bamford replaced Grant Leadbitter for the final 8 minutes of additional time in the third round of the League Cup against Liverpool on 23 September. In added time, he was fouled by Kolo Touré for a penalty which he converted himself to make the score 2–2, thus resulting in a penalty shootout. Although his penalty in the shootout was saved by Simon Mignolet, he scored one in sudden death, but Middlesbrough lost 14–13 on penalties.[3]

After scoring in the League Cup against Liverpool on 23 September, Bamford went through a period of four games played without scoring. On 1 November, Bamford scored the opening goal in a 3–0 win over Rotherham United. Bamford again, scored on 4 November against Norwich City; which ended in a 4–0 win for the Boro. On 22 November, Bamford came off the bench in the 55th minute against Wigan Athletic, and within three minutes of coming onto the pitch, scored the goal which levelled the game; the match ended in a 1–1 draw.[3] Bamford continued his fine scoring form, scoring on 29 November against Blackburn Rovers, and on 6 December against Millwall; four goals in five games.

Bamford again continued to impress throughout the game against league leaders Derby County on 13 December, in which he scored the opening goal within the first 6 minutes, and later won a penalty which was converted by Grant Leadbitter in a 2–0 win. The result moved his team into second place in the Championship, level on points with A.F.C. Bournemouth.[3] On 31 December, his loan was extended for the remainder of the season.[4]

On 24 January 2015, in the fourth round of the FA Cup, Bamford exploited an error by Fernando to open the scoring as Middlesbrough defeated reigning Premier League champions Manchester City 2–0 away.[4]

On 3 April, Bamford sent Middlesbrough to the top of the Championship table by scoring his seventeenth goal of the season in a 1-0 win against Wigan Athletic.[4] On 11 April, Bamford scored his eighteenth goal of the season against Rotherham United, but did miss a penalty throughout stoppage-time after fighting it over with fellow striker Kike who won the penalty originally. Later on, Bamford revealed that he was the designated penalty-taker and apologised to his teammate for missing the penalty.[4] Also that month, he was nominated at the Football League Awards for Championship Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year.[4] He won the first award, with the second going to Dele Alli of Milton Keynes Dons.[47]

Bamford ended the 2014-15 season with 19 goals in total, 17 coming in the league making him the team's top scorer for the season.

Crystal Palace (loan)

On 21 July 2015, Bamford signed on loan for Crystal Palace for the upcoming season.[17] After a successful preseason with Crystal Palace, which included a hat-trick against Bromley,[4] Bamford was an unused substitute for Palace's opening match against Norwich City on 8 August.[4] He made his competitive debut for Palace eight days later in a 2–1 home defeat to Arsenal, replacing James McArthur for the final ten minutes.[4]

On 28 December, Bamford terminated his loan spell and returned to Chelsea after featuring as a substitute in the 0–0 draw against Swansea City. Bamford cited lack of first team opportunities as reasoning for his departure.[4] It was subsequently reported that Bamford's decision had been made by himself alone, and that the two clubs involved were to hold talks over his future.[5]

Norwich City (loan)

On 30 January 2016, after terminating his loan spell with Crystal Palace, Bamford joined Norwich City on loan until the end of the season.[5] Bamford was given the number 11 jersey upon arrival. On 6 February 2016, Bamford made his Norwich City debut in a 2-0 away defeat to Aston Villa replacing Wes Hoolahan in the 56th minute.[5] On 12 March 2016, Bamford made his first Premier League start in 0-0 draw with Manchester City, in which Bamford hit the bar, therefore being the best opportunity of the game.[5]...

International career

Bamford played for the Republic of Ireland once at Under 18 level, he qualifies to play for Ireland under the grandparent rule. On 28 February 2012, Bamford made his first appearance for the England U19s in a friendly match against Czech Republic. He was brought on at half time, only 20 minutes into the second half Chelsea team-mate Todd Kane put a cross into the box which Bamford firmly headed into the goal; scoring his first England U19 goal. On 17 November 2013 he was called up to the England U21 team for the first time for a game against San Marino U21, after a fantastic start to the season having scored 12 goals in 20 appearances.[5] Two days later Bamford made his U21s debut, coming on as a 65th-minute substitute in a 9–0 win over San Marino.[5]

Bamford was included in Gareth Southgate's 27-man preliminary squad for the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, but was excluded from the final squad due to injury.[5]

Career statistics

As of match played 7 May 2016.[5]
Club statistics
SeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupOtherTotal
DivisionAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Nottingham Forest2011–12[60]Championship20000020
Milton Keynes Dons (loan)2012–13[61]League One144144
2013–14[62]23143121213017
Total37183121214421
Derby County (loan)2013–14[62]Championship21820238
Middlesbrough (loan)2014–15[63]38173111104319
Crystal Palace (loan)2015–16Premier League6000200080
Norwich City (loan)2015–167000000070
Career totals1114362525112748
  1. Appearances in Football League Trophy
  2. Appearances in Championship play-offs

Honours

Individual