Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford should be proud of his career ahead of his Stamford Bridge return on Saturday.
The 27-year-old has been among the most prolific goal-scorers in the Premier League so far, netting seven times in 10 league appearances for Leeds.
At the weekend, he will face a big test against his former club Chelsea.
Bamford spent five years at Chelsea after joining from Nottingham Forest in 2012, but only found himself as part of the loan army.
He spent the five years of his Chelsea career at five different loan clubs, including Derby County and Middlesbrough, before eventually joining the latter permanently in 2017.
However, he had the opportunity to train with Chelsea’s first-team squad several times and Lampard was clearly impressed with a young Bamford.
“Yeah, I remember him [Bamford] well. He trained with the [senior] squad a lot,” Lampard told reporters in his pre-match press conference (via Chelsea’s official YouTube channel).
“He was a young player when he arrived at the club.
“[He] clearly had great finishing ability and had an eye for goal from that early stages at Chelsea.
“Obviously, it didn’t quite work out for him [at Chelsea] but it was probably more due to competition he faced up front for us.
“I think he should be proud of the way his career has gone, to make different moves and to come back and be one of the leading scorers in the Premier League for a very good Leeds team.
“I like Patrick as a lad, he’s playing for him and as I said, I’m very happy for him.”
Lampard wants absolute concentration
The Blues have kept the most clean-sheets (five) in the league so far and will hope to stop Bamford from scoring to extend their good defensive record.
“If you look at [Leeds] stats, [they have made] a lot of shots, scoring goals against top teams, they created a lot,” Lampard added.
“So we have to be at our absolute best in terms of concentration and togetherness in defence.
“It’ll be a huge test against Leeds because they are one of the most dangerous sides in the league.”