DERBY County fans have only seen a 25-minute cameo from Patrick Bamford since his arrival on loan from Chelsea, but the Rams are confident the youngster ticks all the boxes.
The 20-year-old striker made his debut when he came off the bench in the televised game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Bamford and Mason Bennett were introduced in a double change for Simon Dawkins and Jamie Ward.
Derby trailed 2-0 at the time and the two substitutes combined in the build up to the Rams pulling a goal back.
Bennett, still only 17, has impressed in his appearances from the bench in the last three games.
At Leicester, he whipped in a teasing centre from the left and when the ball reached Bamford his goal-bound shot was deflected behind for the corner.
Will Hughes delivered and Jake Buxton’s downward header struck Leicester defender Ritchie De Laet before finding the net.
Leicester rallied with a helping hand from Derby’s poor defending to score twice more and run out deserved 4-1 winners.
Not the most positive of debuts for Bamford then, but the Rams believe they have landed a talent for the rest of the season.
Chelsea clearly agree. They splashed £1.5m to sign the player from Nottingham Forest in 2012 despite the fact he had made only two senior appearances for the Reds, both as a substitute.
Chelsea loaned him to MK Dons last season where he scored four goals in 14 games. He returned to the League One club for the first half of this season and hit 17 goals in 30 matches.
He has an eye for a goal. “He has great movement in the box and is a finisher – left foot, right foot or with his head,” said Rams head coach Steve McClaren.
“I think that is what Chelsea have seen and that is why they bought him. Hopefully he will help us maintain our push for promotion.
“We have got a good team here. Anybody who comes through the door has to earn the right to play.
“There is no guarantee of a place. There is a guarantee for clubs that we will look after the players.
“They get good work on the training field and if they are good enough, they will get opportunities.
“We would not bring players here if we didn’t think they could make an impact. That is what we say to them, ‘if you are not playing then be ready, make an impact as a sub’.
“We said the same to Andre Wisdom, Michael Keane and Simon Dawkins. We expect the same from Patrick.”
Keane had to wait for his opportunity. The centre back made three appearances as a substitute before a injury to skipper Richard Keogh offered him a starting role in the 1-1 draw at Huddersfield.
He has now made five consecutive starts.
Bamford may also have to be patient.
“Patrick has got fantastic technique,” said first-team coach Paul Simpson. “You can see he is a good footballer and you can see he has the potential to be an even better footballer.
“He played a lot of times as the lone striker for MK Dons and he can do that role well because he has got good ability, he can hold the ball up and he has a willingness to run in behind.
“He can also do the wide role.
“That is why we have brought him in because we think he can be a good addition to the squad.
“He ticks a lot of boxes for us.
“What we have got to do is integrate him at the right time.
“It is up to the manager to decide when is the right moment to put him in and hopefully he will be able to carry on where he left off at MK Dons.”