On-loan striker Patrick Bamford is not having a great go of it at Crystal Palace. After just two substitute appearances for the club in the Premier League this season, questions are being raised about his future. The club's manager, Alan Pardew, admits that the 22-year-old is working hard, but says that the competition for spots is just too fierce for Bamford to get the consistent minutes he needs.
"It's unfortunate for Patrick because he's working hard, but it is an obvious situation," said Pardew when asked about a player who scored 19 goals for Boro last season and whose arrival in the summer was considered a coup. "If he doesn't play for any real time between now and January then, for sure, we'll have to look at it. But he's had a lot of competition and he's trying to understand the way we play. If he gets the chance I'm sure he wants to take it. He's fighting for his right to get into the team."
-Alan Pardew; Source: The Guardian
Unfortunately, returning to Chelsea would not be the best move as the youngster just isn't ready to compete for a place in the club's first team. One familiar option has emerged, however. Bamford's former loan destination, Middlesbrough, will reportedly welcome him back with open arms. Aitor Karanka, the Boro boss, recalls telling the England U-21 international that he'd always have a spot on his team.
"I told him that he would have the doors open for him always [at Boro]," Karanka said.
"He came as an unrecognised player and he he left as the Player of the Year for the Championship, but I prefer to speak about the players who are here now."
-Aitor Karanka; Source: Gazette Live
With 17 goals scored for the club during the 2014-15 Championship season, Middlesbrough seems like a good fit for playing time and on-field success. If Bamford does decide to go back, it would have to be considered a lateral career move and one that could be hindering to promising future. A move back to the Championship would not be a glamorous one, but if a move away from Palace is needed it could be his only option unless another arises.