Norwich City boss Alex Neil backs Patrick Bamford to be a hit
13:28 02 February 2016
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Patrick Bamford could prove to be a £10million-rated steal for Norwich City if he fires the Canaries to Premier League safety.
Bamford has signed up for Alex Neil’s survival scrap after joining from Chelsea on loan until the end of the campaign and the striker is in line to feature tonight against Tottenham.
Neil is in no doubt the 22-year-old is a classy operator after trying to sign him in the summer before he joined Crystal Palace, in what turned out the be a frustrating loan spell. The former England Under-21 international cut short his stay with the Eagles after failing to score in nine appearances for Alan Pardew’s club.
“If you look at what he did last season when he was Championship player-of-the-year you would be talking £10m-plus if you had tried to sign him in the summer,” said Neil.
“He was a player we were quite keen on before he went to Crystal Palace. He certainly has a proven pedigree, in terms of goalscoring, at all the previous levels he has played at.
“Whether he can do it in the Premier League we will see between now and the end of the season. His game time at Palace was really limited and you can’t score goals if you are not playing, but we saw him first hand a lot last year and he did well and we feel there is no reason he can’t take the step up and get us goals.”
Bamford will provide extra competition for the likes of fellow loanee Dieumerci Mbokani and Cameron Jerome, who have carried the majority of the attacking burden so far for the Canaries since returning to the top flight by beating Bamford’s Middlesbrough at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.
“Patrick has good intelligent movement where he can play that number nine role,” said Neil.
“Not like Dieu, perhaps, who looks to take the ball in and be a big presence, but more in the sense of spinning off centre backs and looking to get in behind. If you look at last season with Middlesbrough they played a naturally counter-attacking game most of the time where they would sit deep with the two holding midfield players.
“He is a left-footer as well, which is different to the two we have got, and he is a clinical finisher. His goals ratio to chances is relatively high.”