Over the summer, Fernando Torres secured a move away from Stamford Bridge. The two-year loan deal will see the Spaniard see out the remainder of his contract in Milan.
In truth Torres never truly looked settled in west London following his £50 million move from Liverpool in January 2011. 'El Niño' struggled for form at Chelsea and it is believed that Roman Abramovich jumped at the chance to have AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani take the player off of his books.
Loic Remy was purchased from QPR to help fill the gap left by Torres's departure, but who will act as his long-term replacement?
Patrick Bamford, 21, is an English forward who has spent time on loan at League One side MK Dons, Championship side Derby County and Middlesbrough, since joining Chelsea from Nottingham Forest in 2012.
Bamford is yet to make a senior competitive for Chelsea, but has impressed greatly on loan, scoring on 27 occasions in 64 league appearances, despite spending a significant amount of time out of position on the right flank.
Having stamped his mark on England's second and third tiers, there is every chance that the youngster could translate his form in the country's premier division.
Bamford on loan
Middlesbrough, Reading and Wolves were all vying to sign the forward on loan, but the former secured Bamford's signature. The aspiring youngster is strong aerially and possesses a decent strike of the ball, thus it is no surprise that he is drawing interest from Championship clubs. Bamford has struck for the senior Chelsea side already, finishing superbly in a preseason fixture at Wycombe.
Bamford stands at 6'1" and is talented with the ball at his feet, adding to his aforementioned aerial threat. The youngster, not dissimilarly to Torres, often drops deep before running at the opposition, causing problems and beating men.
Can he replace Torres?
The young English forward is also very effective from distance and it is not uncommon to see him trying his kick from range. Bamford is also capable of performing on the left-hand side of a front three, having done so as a youth player.
An aerial threat who is talented with the ball at his feet, Bamford can cause havoc running at opposition defences, as he proved against Liverpool. Somewhat unproven, the Englishman would serve as an understudy to both Diego Costa and Remy, two players from whom he could learn a lot.
Given a handful of first team games, Bamford could develop rapidly and, in the coming years, challenge for a starting berth.
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