The sight of Tammy Abraham scoring goals has become somewhat familiar to Chelsea fans. Abraham may not be the most prolific striker in the league yet, but his academy background gives the Blues something to be proud of. He has done what many hopeful youngsters dream of doing—play for the Chelsea senior team. One of those hopeful youngsters was Patrick Bamford.
"“After I made the move from Forest, a lot of people said I went for the wrong reasons, which wasn’t true at the time. I went there because I wanted to play for a top team like Chelsea, and hopefully, I do get that chance.” -Bamford"
Bamford is not your average footballer. His story does not follow the conventional pattern of endless struggles and sleepless nights. His relatively privileged upbringing allowed him to dabble in things other than football. Sport, for him, was an option, not a necessity. However, when the time came to make a decisive decision, Bamford chose to go down the unconventional route.
The rejection of Harvard came first, then came the move to Chelsea. The Blues paid Nottingham Forest £1.5 Million to secure the scholar’s services, despite him barely playing any first team football. His displays in the FA Youth Cup had been enough to earn the club’s attention.
Chelsea brought Bamford to Stamford Bridge in 2012, but it did not have a clear pathway into the senior team yet. His displays for the youth team were promising; however, the club wanted to test him on a more competitive level. Thus began his loan journey. A year at MK Dons—split across two seasons—saw the youngster score 21 times in 44 games. The following short stint at Derby County saw him continue his impressive form, but it was at Middlesbrough where the Englishman’s stock rose highest.