When Middlesbrough loaned Patrick Bamford from Chelsea during the 2014/15 season he was perhaps the best player to wear a Boro shirt for some years. During the 2014/15 season, he played 38 league games for Middlesbrough, in which he scored 17 goals and earned five assists. He also managed two goals and two assists in the cups for Middlesbrough. One goal and assist coming in Middlesbrough’s shock 2-0 victory over Manchester City, in which Bamford played a key role.
Bamford even won Championship player of the year for 2014/15. His superb form also helped Middlesbrough reach the playoff final. Unfortunately, Middlesbrough were beaten in the final and were faced with another season in the Championship. This led Bamford to not join up with Middlesbrough the next season as he looked to pursue a life in the Premier League. However, his ventures in the top flight of English football were not good. Bamford had loan spells at Crystal Palace, Norwich and Burnley after leaving Boro. All of these ended badly as Bamford failed to score a single goal at any of the above-mentioned clubs.
This meant Chelsea no longer saw a need for Bamford. So, when old boss Aitor Karanka came calling for Bamford in the 2017 January transfer window both Bamford and Middlesbrough fans were filled with excitement.
Despite this, the player who guided Boro to the playoff final in 2014/15 and was their top goal scorer for some years had vanished. And Bamford is now a shell of the player he once was. The nostalgia Middlesbrough fans felt for Bamford has also seemingly disappeared. After being back at the club for just over a year now he has in large failed to show any of the qualities that made him Championship player of the year for 2014/15.
But even though Bamford’s form has dipped dramatically since the last time he was at Boro, he has still maintained a starting XI place on a regular basis, which many fans now believe he should be dropped from. And you can hardly blame them.
Also, now that Jack Harrison has had some time to get to know the squad and get back some fitness, it is surely time for Harrison to replace Bamford in the starting eleven. Harrison is a young fast exciting winger who is very much informed. He scored 10 goals and managed three assists last season for New York City as well as being highly praised by Spanish yesteryear star David Villa and being deemed good enough to sign for Manchester City. It is surely time for Pulis to give Harrison a chance over an out of form Bamford who has never found the form he once had at Boro three seasons ago.
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