Chelsea loanee star nets his 24th goal of the season – What’s in store next season?

Chelsea Logo - Stamford Bridge Tunnel

On-loan Derby County striker Patrick Bamford netted yet another goal last night for the Championship promotion contenders.

The 20-year-old striker is enjoying his best season of his career – but just how good can he be?

Chelsea signed the former Nottingham Forest youth product on a 5-year contract for a reported £1.5m in January 2012, despite Bamford only making two appearances for the first team.

The current Premier League leaders clearly saw his potential whilst playing for the Forest youth team, and a few weeks prior to him joining the Blues, he netted an impressive nine goals in two games in the FA Youth Cup.

This season, the England U21 international enjoyed a fruitful loan-spell at League One side MK Dons before attracting the attentions of Steve McLaren’s Derby County – who he joined in the January transfer window.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will be pleased with the youngster’s decision making and willingness to learn, but more importantly, Bamford displays excellent movement and above all, goals.

Last night, he added to his account with another strike during Derby County’s 2-1 defeat at Ipswich. Within the first minute of the game, Bamford reacted quickest to a low cross from the left – slotting in first-time with a powerful effort.

Bamford was involved throughout the night, and should have doubled Derby’s lead when he timed his run to perfection but with the goalkeeper to beat, his attempted chip was easily dealt with.

In 37 appearances in all competitions so far this campaign, he has netted a remarkable 24 goals – more than Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba combined.

Whilst his goalscoring form has been good, his movement is what makes him such a good prospect and it’s this part of his game which will please Mourinho the most.

Realistically, it’s hard to imagine Patrick Bamford breaking in to Chelsea’s first-team squad next season. However, he may still remain an integral part of their future, and another experience-gaining loan spell in the upper echelons of the Championship is definitely another step in the right direction.

Does Patrick Bamford have a long-term future at Chelsea?

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch