Crystal Palace have sealed the loan signing of highly-rated Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford, who will spend the entire 2015-16 campaign with the Eagles.
This is according to various journalists - including Andrew Dillon of The Sun, Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard and Lee Clayton of the Daily Mail - with an official announcement expected to be made by the two clubs within a matter of hours.
Bamford, 21, will have the opportunity to showcase his credentials in the Premier League following impressive loan spells with MK Dons, Derby County and Middlesbrough.
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Chelsea have agreed to send Bamford on loan to Palace, where he will compete for a place in Alan Pardew’s first team alongside the likes of Dwight Gayle, Glenn Murray and Marouane Chamakh.
Bamford scored 19 goals in 43 appearances for Middlesbrough last season but, unfortunately for the former England Under-21 international, failed to make an impact in May’s play-off final which Norwich City won 2-0.
Bamford left out of Chelsea's US tour squad
Bamford might have hoped that he’d done enough to convince Jose Mourinho to give him a chance on Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the United States.
However, he was left out of the squad in favour of 17-year-old Dominic Solanke, one of three strikers to travel to the US alongside Diego Costa and Loic Remy.
This increased speculation that Bamford would be loaned out for the forthcoming campaign - and it’s Palace who have won the race to secure his services on a temporary basis.
That Chelsea signed the revered Colombia international Radamel Falcao on loan earlier this summer indicated Bamford would leave the Blues on loan.
Falcao has come to Chelsea as the club’s second-choice striker, behind Costa and in front of Remy, who could still leave Stamford Bridge before Mourinho’s side begin the defence of their Premier League crown against Swansea City on August 8.
Final opportunity for Bamford
Bamford turns 22 in September and this could be his final opportunity to prove to Mourinho that he has a future at Chelsea.
While there’s no doubt he’s a natural goalscorer, question marks remain over his quality at the highest level.
Bamford has his work cut out to establish himself as the first-choice centre-forward at Selhurst Park, but he will have more opportunities to impress at Crystal Palace than Chelsea.
Chelsea fans: does Patrick Bamford have a long-term future at Chelsea? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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