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Leeds United continue impressive shopping spree with Patrick Bamford swoop
Tuesday, 31st Jul 2018 18:56 by @LucasMonk_

The Whites have made the erstwhile Chelsea prodigy their fifth signing of an impressive summer transfer window...

Leeds United have today confirmed the signing of forward Patrick Bamford, who joins from divisional rivals Middlesbrough on a lucrative four-year contract for an undisclosed fee - rumoured to be in the region of £7,000,000. He will wear the number nine shirt at Elland Road.

Bamford, 24, began his career with Nottingham Forest, and made his debut for the club as a late substitute in a 1-0 home defeat by Cardiff City. The promise and potential he exuded at the City Ground was enough to convince Premier League Chelsea to pay £1,500,000 for him in January 2012, with Bamford signing a five-year contract.

But the forward would never make a first team appearance for the Blues in the five years he spent on the books at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea anxious to farm the player out on loan. His time away could be aptly described as having been a curate's egg: after impressive stints in the Football League with Milton Keynes Dons, Derby County and Middlesbrough, fruitless spells in the Premier League with Crystal Palace, Burnley and Norwich were to follow.

With first team football at Chelsea an unrealistic outcome, Bamford elected to leave Stamford Bridge in search of regular football, and rejoined former loan employers Middlesbrough in January 2017 for a fee of £5,500,000. He had scored 17 league goals and had won the Championship player of the year award whilst playing for the club in the 2014/15 season.

A starring role was not initially forthcoming, and Bamford scarcely featured as Boro were categorically relegated back to the Championship, but the 2017/18 campaign yielded 23 starts and 11 goals, and this fact makes his departure from Teesside all the more bizarre.

But the simple truth is that the intelligent forward, who possesses excellent technique and is a lethal finisher, was not in the plans of Boro manager Tony Pulis, who now reportedly wishes to sign Ipswich Town's Martyn Waghorn as a direct replacement.

United, though, have finessed for themselves an excellent striker, one inured to the intense rigours of the division, and one capable of crashing in copious goals for Marcelo Bielsa's team. The fee paid by Leeds, which could potentially rise to £10,000,000, is the highest they have paid for any player since Robbie Fowler in 2001: a potent symbol of the club's ambition.

Bamford has followed in the footsteps of Jamal Blackman, Lewis Baker, Barry Douglas, and Jack Harrison in signing for the Whites.

That group is a panoply of precocious young talents, driven to succeed and willing to work hard, and it seems that, at last, Leeds United is a club of aspiration once again.

Photo: Action Images

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