After a somewhat sputtering start to the season, Patrick Bamford has become one of the better loan success stories of the year. Not that we expected anything less from the young man many of us affectionally have taken to calling Bamfordinho.
With a second goal in as many games, Bamford played a key role in eliminating Manchester City from the FA Cup over the weekend. At one point earlier in the season, he scored in six straight games. Overall, the 21-year-old has 10 goals from 24 appearances (18 starts), which is a good, if not earth-shattering return. But he has now certainly proven himself capable, adaptable, and successful at three teams in two different leagues, and that sort of poise, confidence, and perseverance isn't readily taught. And he's still so very young.
"I've played against three Premier League teams now - Sunderland, Liverpool and now Man City - and I have scored against all of them. I think it has shown that I can cut it at the top level but we'll see what happens."
-Patrick Bamford; source: Sky
As he likens Karanka to Mourinho, Bamford seems ready to take his chance if offered by either manager next season.
"If we get promoted it would be a toss-up between whether to go back to get experience with Chelsea, playing a bit part, or whether it will be playing week in and week out with Middlesbrough. Put it that way, it seems an easy decision ... but it's not my decision really. It's about getting to the end of the season and seeing where everyone is."
-Patrick Bamford; source: Northern Echo
Though if that quote puts a negative spin on any possible Chelsea future, Bamford also knows that Mourinho has not forgotten about him.
"Yeah, they [Mourinho and Karanka] are always in touch. Whenever he speaks the gaffer always says he's had a little chat with him and always makes a joke about it, so it's nice to know I am in his thoughts."
"Jose Mourinho hasn't really outlined the plan for my career. I was going to stay there this season, that was the original plan, but when the chance to bring Didier back arrives, you can't really turn down Drogba, can you? Then Jose gave me the choice whether I wanted to stay and play bit-parts - but a very minimum amount of football - or I could go out on loan. He said Boro would be a great option. It was an easy choice in the end. He said he would be in touch and obviously they're keeping their eye on me."
"I'd say this season, yes, it's probably too early for me at Chelsea and I'm out on loan and that's helping me. But next season you never know. Whether it's a Premier League loan or a bit-part at Chelsea, I'll give it a year or two and maybe I'll be in with a shout."
-Patrick Bamford; source: Mirror
Attaboy, Bamfordinho. Keep on keeping on, and the world shall be your oyster.