Harry Kane has been one of the breakthrough players of the season this year at Spurs. Many people were highlighting the clubs striking problems with Roberto Soldado struggling since a big money move and Emmanuel Adebayor ever inconsistent up front. Harry Kane however slowly came into the side and has since scored eight league goals (including two against Chelsea) in 17 league games. It’s been a great six months or so.
Kane is just 21, the same age as another young striker, Patrick Bamford, who is on loan at Middlesbrough from Chelsea. The similarities do not end with age. Kane also spent a few seasons on loan elsewhere, including stints in the Championship. Last year he returned to the set-up and was a peripheral figure who was given the odd chance. He scored three goals in ten games as a third choice striker.
Bamford was actually going to stay at Chelsea this season, only for the club to resign Didier Drogba, which led him to move out on loan. His record in the last two seasons int he Championship is decent with 16 goals in 43 games over the last two campaigns. He has also stepped up since being in League One with MK Dons in the first half of last season. Bamford is certainly improving. He also scored a goal at The Etihad to help knock Manchester City out of the FA Cup, something that would have gone down well with Chelsea fans.
His development, like Kane’s, depends on first team football though. Kane was brought back and utilized as a squad player. He obviously worked hard in training and was given a chance largely because of how weak Soldado and Adebayor were. Bamford would benefit from being in the first team set-up next season. Perhaps as third choice striker if Drogba is more involved off field than on field. He’d still have an issue though as Diego Costa is by far the main man at Chelsea and is a clinical and prolific goal scorer. This is the major issue. Costa is 26 and is not moving any time soon. Bamford at 21 is at a critical point in his footballing education. He may need to be loaned to another Premier League club for a year next season, which would take him to 22 years old. If he does well then perhaps he can come in as back-up to Costa, as it remains to be seen whether Loic Remy will be at the club long-term. Chelsea must help advance their own young players, as Spurs have done with Kane. Unfortunately for Bamford and Chelsea fans, Chelsea have a bad record on bringing through young talent.