Former Nottingham Forest and Leeds United midfielder David Prutton has told Sky Sports’ FL 72 Review show that Patrick Bamford needs to continue playing in order to develop his game.
The 21-year-old forward has been in superb form for his on-loan club Middlesbrough in recent weeks and has established himself as one of the best young players in the Championship.
The England Under-21 international has scored 13 goals and created 21 chances in 29 Championship appearances so far this season, while having a pass accuracy of 72% and a shot accuracy of 55%.
Bamford is currently on loan at Middlesbrough from Premier League giants Chelsea, where he will face fierce competition for a place in the starting line-up once he returns at the end of the season.
Prutton has been impressed with the youngster’s performances this season, and he has urged him to make sure that he is playing regular football next campaign, wherever it may be.
“He is obviously enjoying where he is,” the 33-year-old told Sky Sports’ FL 72 Review show on Monday. “He has the chance to come and play games: whether that means he wants to go back to Chelsea, you never know.
“It is massive club, but for the sake of his career, he needs to be out playing and scoring goals as he is going.”
At the moment, Chelsea do not need a striker as they have Diego Costa, Loic Remy and Didier Drogba in their squad.
Even if Drogba leaves at the end of the season and manager Jose Mourinho does not sign a replacement, Bamford will still not be the first-choice striker and will get far less playing time than he is getting at the moment.
Having featured regularly for Middlesbrough this campaign, it will be a step back in his own personal development if Bamford returns to Chelsea and finds himself on the substitutes’ bench week after week.