Patrick Bamford Deserves Chelsea Shot Despite Fernando Torres-Mattia Destro Talk

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2014

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - JULY 27: Patrick Bamford of Chelsea in action during the Pre Season Friendly  match between FC Olimpija Ljubljana and Chelsea at Stozice stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

After burning brightly in the beginning stages of pre-season, Patrick Bamford's flame has slowly dimmed at Chelsea.

It's not because he isn't valued at Stamford Bridge or has performed badly, either. It's more a situation influenced by the return of Chelsea's World Cup stars, who naturally come before him in the pecking order.

Now Diego Costa, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres are available for selection, Bamford has retreated back to the Under-21s, with a loan move to Middlesbrough on the cards, per Sky Sports.

Should Mourinho offload Torres before the summer transfer window is out, freeing up space for another striker, things should change rather dramatically for Bamford.

Whether or not they will, of course, is another matter altogether.

Mattia Destro's agent has denied his client could be heading to Stamford Bridge in a swap deal for Torres, yet the rumour alone means that, as the door opens, before Bamford is even given the slightest chance to peep through, it's slammed shut in his face.

In The Telegraph, Renzo Contratto explained the Blues are interested in the  Italian forward, although he is eager to remain with Roma.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match between Chelsea and Club Atletico de Madrid at Stamford Bridge on April 30, 2014 in London, England.
Clive Rose/Getty Images

"It's true that Chelsea are interested in Mattia," he said. "But the reports regarding a swap deal have no foundation, it's all speculation.

"Roma don't want to sell Mattia and Mattia prefers to remain at Roma."

It's becoming increasingly difficult to argue with Chelsea persevering with Torres.

Signs of brilliance remain in the Spaniard, yet for whatever reason, it just never comes off for him in a Chelsea shirt.

Not consistently, at least.

He's carrying too much baggage in west London and for his sanity, above all else, a move away is perhaps the best resolution as he seeks to resurrect his career.

CARDIFF, WALES - MAY 11:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea is challenged by Steven Caulker (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Chelsea at the Cardiff City Stadium on May 11, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty
David Rogers/Getty Images

It makes sense Chelsea are trying to offload him.

What doesn't add up is the desire to sign another player as his replacement, not when Chelsea have plenty of youngsters ready and waiting, of which Bamford is one.

Torres is third-choice this season behind Costa and Drogba and as such, isn't going to be playing much football.

If he leaves Stamford Bridge, it's the ideal opportunity for a player like Bamford to be given a chance.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed successful loan spells with MK Dons and Derby County, scoring goals and catching the eye with some excellent performances.

Now he needs the opportunity to show he can cut it at a higher level.

As third-choice, Chelsea's Premier League title hopes aren't going to hinge on him. Bamford would still be far enough down the pecking order to not carry a considerable influence.

For the player, however, sitting on the bench, training with the first team every week and getting minutes at various stages, would develop him considerably.

Besides, it would also mean Jose Mourinho would solve the problem of needing one more homegrown player in his Premier League squad.

Speaking to Bleacher Report last week, former Chelsea manager Tommy Docherty recounted his experiences of bringing through youngsters at Stamford Bridge in the 1960s.

Docherty was responsible for nurturing a golden generation of young stars that included Ron Harris, Peter Bonetti, Terry Venables and Bobby Tambling—players who all went on to become major names in English football.

HIGH WYCOMBE, ENGLAND - JULY 16: Marco van Ginkel of Chelsea battles with Aaron Pierre of Wycombe duing the pre season friendly match between Wycombe Wanderers and Chelsea at Adams Park on July 16, 2014 in High Wycombe, England.  (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Get
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Above all of them where Chelsea was concerned, was a certain Peter Osgood.

Given his debut at 17, Ossie went on to become a hero in west London and remains the only player to be honoured with a statue outside Stamford Bridge.

"I dropped Barry Bridges—an England international—for Peter Osgood, who was just 17," Docherty told us. "I said to Ossie that he had 10 games to prove himself and he went out and did it."

Of course he did. He was Peter Osgood, one of the most gifted players of his generation, a fact Docherty hints at knowing before the rest of England.

To prove it, he needed to give Osgood his chance, although he accepts his approach was a touch naive.

"In a way, that shows my inexperience as a manager at the time, yet in terms of ability, Ossie was a far better player than Barry Bridges."

Mourinho wouldn't be doing the same with Bamford. The situation is far different and the modern era doesn't allow for it.

What he would be doing, though, is giving him an opportunity; a chance to show that, like Osgood, he can make it as a Chelsea player.

"Every young player is going to have bad games and make mistakes, but you need to trust your judgement that he is good enough," Docherty added.

Until Bamford is afforded similar treatment, Mourinho will never know.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes


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