How has Middlesbrough's team changed since Patrick Bamford scored his last league goal?

How has Middlesbrough's team changed since Patrick Bamford scored his last league goal?

Bamford's last competitive goal came nearly two years ago at the Riverside.

Dom Brown

Patrick Bamford is set to return to Middlesbrough for an initial £6 million. Bamford spent the 2014/15 season on loan at Aitor Karanka's team and helped them reach the 2015 Play-Off Final.

Since scoring 19 times in that season and being touted as a hot prospect, however, Bamford has failed to make an impact on the Premier League in three loan stints at Crystal Palace, Norwich and Burnley.

Bamford's loan spells at these clubs have been such a non-event, that the former Nottingham Forest forward's last competitive goal came for Boro in a Riverside victory in 2015.

The game against Wolves saw Bamford score in the 11th minute but since then, 645 days have passed and the former Boro loanee is yet to score another competitive goal.

How did the Middlesbrough side look when Bamford netted his last competitive goal?

GK: Dimi Konstantopolous

The Greek 'keeper was a consistent performer in the Championship and was a big part of Boro's mean defence that lead them to promotion in the 15/16 season. He lost his place to Victor Valdes in the Premier League.

RB: Tomas Kalas

A Chelsea loanee too, but unlike Bamford, Kalas returned to Middlesbrough the next season and helped them to promotion. Emilio Nsue, however, took his place in that season and Kalas is back in the Championship this season with Fulham.

CB: Jonathan Woodgate

The closest thing to a legend Middlesbrough have had in recent memory, Woodgate was on the decline in this season and was set to retire after the Play-Off Final. Injuries meant he stayed on, but he did not feature in the promotion winning season.

Familiar faces

CB: Ben Gibson

The teessider broke into the Boro side in the previous season and Gibson has improved year on year. He is now one of the first names on Aitor Karanka's team sheet and has captained his home town club on numerous occasions.

Ben Gibson has played in every Premier League game for Boro this season | Photo: GettyImages/Dan Mullan

LB: George Friend

Since signing from Doncaster Rovers in 2012, Friend has been a shoo-in at left back for Middlesbrough. In the 2014/15 season, Karanka reigned in Friend, getting him to reign in his cavalier tendencies and improve his defending. Friend is now a Premier League quality left back and is Boro's vice captain.

CDM: Adam Clayton

Clayton had signed from Huddersfield in the summer of 2014 and by the match with Wolves in April, he looked at home in the centre of Middlesbrough's midfield. Clayton has pushed on since then and frequently features in the Premier League.

CDM: Adam Forshaw

Adam Forshaw made one of his sporadic Championship apperances for Middlesbrough in this game. Forshaw has come into his own in the Premier League and has played the vast majority of games this season.

A totally different forward line

RM: Albert Adomah

Adomah signed for Boro for just £1 million and over his time staked his claim to be the best in the league in his position. He scored and assisted many crucial goals in both the season Bamford featured in and the next. He was sold to Aston Villa in the summer of 2016.

LM: Lee Tomlin

A talented player on his day, Tomlin was sold to Bournemouth after the 2014/15 season as with the arrival of Stewart Downing he was deemed surplus to requirements. 

ST: Jelle Vossen

Vossen was a fan favourite after what felt like years of chasing him and the #FreeJelleVossen campaign. After his loan season, the opportunity to sign him was not taken up as Aitor Karanka had his eyes on other strikers such as David Nugent.

ST: Patrick Bamford.

Notable signings since Bamford's last goal for Boro.

Aitor Karanka has improved his side every transfer window he has been at Middlesbrough. He wasted no time following Bamford's decision not to sign on for a second season at Middlesbrough.

The next season saw Boro promoted to the Premier League and also saw Premier League quality players such as Downing and Nugent come through the doors.

January was also a productive window as Gaston Ramirez and Jordan Rhodes signed to boost Middlesbrough's automatic promotion hopes.

When promoted in May, Karanka wasted no time in looking for new recruits as big name players such as Alvaro Negredo and Victor Valdes joined the Teesside outfit, as well as big money signing Marten de Roon.

Aitor Karanka paid Atalanta £12 million for de Roon in the summer | Photo: GettyImages/Rich Linley
Aitor Karanka paid Atalanta £12 million for de Roon in the summer | Photo: GettyImages/Rich Linley

The two years since Bamford last scored for Boro has seen much change, but the striker who played so well previously for Karanka's team will hope that his ability to score goals in the North East has not left, like so many of the players he played with have.