Paul Merson disagrees with Ray Wilkins about Chelsea starlet
Paul Merson doubts whether Patrick Bamford has what it takes to perform for Chelsea in the Premier League
Paul Merson does not believe that Patrick Bamford will be able to easily make the switch up to Premier League football for Chelsea this season.
There have been suggestions that Chelsea could be set to call on Bamford in the coming months after his loan spell at Crystal Palace recently came to an end.
Former Chelsea man Ray Wilkins has urged the Blues to give the young striker a chance to prove himself, with the west London club short of attacking options.
However, although Merson is an admirer of Bamford, he feels that he may struggle to perform at the top level for the west London club.
Merson said on Sky Sports News HQ: “The goals (Bamford scored on loan for Middlesbrough last season) won’t happen in the Premier League, it’s such a jump.
“He’s played in the Championship for a while and it takes time to adapt to the Premier League. You don’t (beat) defenders like (you do in the Championship).
“I like him, he’s an intelligent footballer but something has happened at the (Crystal Palace) training ground that (Alan Pardew) doesn’t like. Pardew is a top manager and he must not have liked something.
“I don’t see (Bamford) as a run-arounder, he’s not a (Jamie) Vardy who’ll close people down and win throw-ins and corners out of nothing.
“He’s a nice player – but he’s one where if he’s not scoring, you ask ‘what are you bringing to the table?’
“That’s why (Connor) Wickham plays (at Crystal Palace) – he holds the ball up, he’s the battering ram who lets the wingers get up the pitch.”
Chelsea are believed to be on the lookout for attacking reinforcements during the January transfer window following injuries to the likes of Loic Remy.
The Blues kicked off 2016 with a victory when they beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon to move up to 14th place in the Premier League table.