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Back in the 2013/14 season, Burnley were close to landing Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford on loan only for the player to move from MK to Derby County during the January transfer window.

He was aged 20 at the time, but the striker, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday on 5th September, has finally arrived on a loan deal with the Clarets for the remainder of the season.

Bamford started his career at Nottingham Forest and was given his debut by former Burnley boss Steve Cotterill in December 2011. However, there was to be no long first team career at the City Ground; one month later and with just one more first team appearance, he was sold to Chelsea in a £1.5 million transfer.

By then, he’d played for both the Republic of Ireland and England at under-18 level and subsequently he opted for England and played at both under-19 and under-21 level. However, he hasn’t played a single game at first team level for Chelsea with all his football coming in five loans.

Some of those loans have been successful but some not, and the two in the Premier League fall into the second category although it was a very successful time in League One. Twice he went to MK where he scored 18 League One goals in 37 appearances and then he moved up the Championship at Derby where he scored eight in 21 games even though just 14 of those were starts.

A hugely successful 2014/15 season followed at Middlesbrough as they, like Derby, reached the Championship play-offs. During that season he scored no fewer than 17 league goals for the Teesside club in 32 starts although it ended in another Wembley disappointment when they were beaten by Norwich in the final with Bamford partnering Jelle Vossen in the Middlesbrough attack.

His goalscoring record overall in the Championship is exceptional. For Middlesbrough he scored a league goal every 166 minutes and it was even better with a goal every 156 minutes during his half season at Derby.

Premier League football looked to be the next move and, for that reason, he turned down a return to Middlesbrough last season, instead opting to move to Crystal Palace. However, in the first half of the season he made only six substitute appearances and the second half of the season wasn’t any better at Norwich where he made seven appearances with just two of them starts. He failed to score in any of them so he still awaits his first Premier League goal.

There were suggestions that he might be going back to the Championship this season; Aston Villa, Fulham and QPR were all suitors, but he’s been given another Premier League opportunity with the Clarets and certainly fills the gap left by Rouwen Hennings’ return to Germany.

Four years ago he was considered one of the brightest young talents in English football and Forest were keen to keep him. Frank Clark was the Forest chairman at the time and he said: “I’m disappointed I’m not going to see Patrick develop in a Nottingham Forest shirt over the next two years.

“We used to be able to hang on to players for a couple of years into the first team – Michael Dawson, Andy Reid, Marlon Harewood, Jermaine Jenus – people like that, before the big clubs came in. But now the real big clubs are paying fortunes for kids of 13, 14, 15, 16. They are not prepared to wait. It’s getting more and more difficult for clubs like ourselves to hang on to the really talented players.”

Clark said they did all they could to keep him. “It was a really difficult decision for us,” he added. “The club had been negotiating with Patrick’s father and his agent since the start of the season. Steve Cotterill saw him play in the reserves and immediately moved him up to start training with the first team. I had a meeting with his agent and his father and didn’t get anywhere.

“When Patrick made the first-team appearance we immediately offered him a much-improved contract – the best contract that’s ever been offered to an 18-year-old at this club. Then he gave two outstanding displays in the two Youth Cup games. So we redoubled our efforts to get him to sign this contract to no avail.

“And then we get this offer from Chelsea. Patrick and his father wanted the opportunity to go and speak to Chelsea. We took the decision that we’d have to do that and ride it out and see what happens, hoping that he wouldn’t go.

“We hoped that Patrick would get down to Chelsea and think ‘I’d rather stay in Newark with all my friends and I’d rather stay at Nottingham Forest with all my friends’ but obviously I can understand.

“The deal’s done and the money is there. The full lot has been paid up front. There’s add-ons, sell-ons.”

Bamford is another in a long line of young players who have moved on to bigger clubs, possibly too early. He’s been given another big chance to show he can be a Premier League footballer at Burnley. I think that would suit us all if he proved, over the next few months, that he can be just that.

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