Chelsea striker Bamford rejected Harvard university offer

The 21-year-old considered moving to the United States before starting his professional career and says he was Jose Mourinho's third-choice striker before Didier Drogba's return
Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford has revealed he turned down an offer from Harvard university in order to pursue a career in football.

The 21-year-old is currently on loan with Middlesbrough until January and has scored two goals in five appearances for the Championship club this season.

Bamford joined Chelsea from Nottingham Forest in 2012 and admits he would have considered moving to the United States if he was not offered a professional contract.

"Just in case things didn't work out when I was at Forest I'd already looked at universities and didn't fancy doing the English route," Bamford told reporters.

"I applied abroad and somehow Harvard offered me a scholarship! They offered it mainly based on football but it was also to do with business. Once I knew I could progress as a footballer Harvard was a back up."

Bamford, who netted eight goals in 21 games during a loan spell with Derby County last season, is yet to make a senior appearance at Chelsea but claims he was considered as Jose Mourinho’s third-choice striker before Didier Drogba's return in the summer.

"The original plan was to stay at Chelsea and be a third striker this season. But the chance came to bring Didier Drogba back," said Bamford.

"Jose said I could stay if I really wanted but he said for my development and to make sure I am ready for Chelsea, the best option for me was to go out and play again.

"I know what the plan is for me. When I first signed for Chelsea they didn't really think, with the odd exception, that most players would be either emotionally or mature enough to play in the first team until they were 22 or 23. So if I keep biding my time until then and keep improving, hopefully I will get my chance.

"You can't really turn down the chance to go to Chelsea. After I'd gone to look round at Chelsea and heard their plans and heard the plan until you are 23, I thought playing with better players, and the coaching will be of a higher standard, so I will improve.

"I don't know what it is like for other players but I still have my sights set on Chelsea. I have to be patient."