What went wrong?
Bamford’s Boro spell yielded incredible returns. He scored 19 goals for them, including one which knocked Manchester City out of the FA Cup. However, it was his Championship form that turned heads across the country. The youngster’s 17 strikes saw his team make it into the play-off final while he was individually named as the competition’s Player of the Year for 2014/15.
Middlesbrough’s failure to reach the Premier League saw Bamford return to his parent club, who now wanted to test him on an even higher level. A series of loans with top flight clubs were to follow, and it was here that the youngster’s struggles came to the forefront.
As mentioned previously, Bamford’s story does not include conventional struggles. Unlike a majority of footballers who come from a working class background, he had a more privileged upbringing. However, no matter what background a young player comes through, the one key element they need to grow is trust. Bamford was trusted at Boro by his coach and by his teammates, but that proved not to be the case when he made the jump to the Premier League.
Bamford barely got any playing time at Crystal Palace, while his short stint with Norwich City was equally frustrating. It was at Burley, though, where he endured the toughest spell of his career. Manager Sean Dyche never truly gave him an opportunity while he also accused him of “being born with a Silver Spoon in his mouth,” considering his background. The constant clashes between the pair led to the player terminating his loan deal and returning to London.
While Bamford suffered from three disastrous spells out on loan, Chelsea did not provide much relief either. The youngster never really got an opportunity with the first team, even if a spot had opened up for another striker. The closest he came to stay at Stamford Bridge was in 2014 when the club needed backups for Diego Costa. However, then manager Jose Mourinho decided to sign Loic Remy and even bring-back a 36-year-old Didier Drogba instead, as opposed to giving the Englishman a chance to prove himself.
Seeing multiple doors close around him, Bamford decided to return to the place of his greatest triumph. He signed for Middlesbrough in January 2017, only this time, he was not coming back.