PATRICK Bamford will boost Derby County’s attacking options, says head coach Steve McClaren.
The 20-year-old Chelsea striker will join the Rams on Monday in a loan deal that runs for the rest of the season.
He is due to play the final game of his loan spell at MK Dons today when they meet Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup. Bamford has scored 16 goals in 29 appearances for the League One club.
Bamford progressed through Nottingham Forest’s Academy and McClaren, a former Forest manager, has kept tabs on the youngster’s progress.
“I knew Patrick when I was at Forest. He was a young talent coming through,” McClaren said.
“In Holland, clubs are always looking at younger players and he was one we looked at when I was at FC Twente. Unfortunately, there was not an opportunity to sign him but I continued to follow him.
“He got a big move to Chelsea and I noticed he has done well at MK Dons in the first half of the season.
“He is the type of player and profile of player we want to bring to Derby County, especially at this stage when we are looking to improve the squad for the second half of the season to make sure we have got enough cover in areas.”
Bamford could be in Derby’s squad for their Championship clash against leaders Leicester City at the King Power Stadium next Friday night and McClaren sees the player providing competition for Chris Martin and Derby’s other strikers.
“That is why he is here, to compete in that respect,” McClaren said.
“At the moment we play with one striker and we also have Conor Sammon who has done a magnificent job for us, a great job when coming on and making an impact.
“We just felt we needed a third striker to give us a few more options.
“Patrick is a little different to Chrissy and Conor Sammon, a bit more technical and can play out wide as well.”
Derby have also agreed to sign Simon Dawkins from Tottenham Hotspur on a permanent deal.
The undisclosed fee for the 26-year-old attacking midfielder is believed to be worth up to £500,000.
Dawkins’ loan at Derby was due to expire later this month and McClaren is delighted to have the player on board.
“He has gone from strength to strength, although he still has a long way to go,” McClaren said.
“To strike a deal with Tottenham and get him for the deal we did is great business, I think.
“When he was substituted in the game at Barnsley, 6,000 or our fans chanted ‘sign him up, sign him up’, and that shows it is not only our opinion but also the fans opinion that he has done very well.
“He has the potential and ability to get better and better.”