Young English talents Bamford and Alli have flourished in Middlesbrough and Milton Keynes this term, so both could be in Premier League next season.
The Football League awards recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary, and homegrown players swept the main accolades. Much is made of the Premier League not giving the best of British enough chances, but two recipients of gongs can feel confident about their top-flight chances for next term.
England Under-21 forward Patrick Bamford and Under-19 midfielder Dele Alli are owned by Chelsea and Tottenham respectively, but have flourished with loan clubs Middlesbrough and MK Dons.
Boro are just a point off the Championship summit in third, and odds-on for Premier League promotion with all bookies. Bamford was named second-tier Player of the Year after league 17 goals, and bet365 make Aitor Karanka’s Riverside outfit a best-price 11/2 to snatch the title from the likes of Bournemouth, Norwich City and Watford in their division.
Bamford has offered a consistent threat throughout his season-long loan spell in Middlesbrough and, much like Championship leading marksman Daryl Murphy of Ipswich Town, his ability to play anywhere across the frontline has helped.
Even if he cannot fire them to the title or automatic promotion, Boro are excellent value at 5/1 with SkyBet to win the play-offs. Bamford will be unleashed on Fulham at Craven Cottage next after six strikes in his last eight, and is a top price of 17/11 with 888.com to net against them anytime.
Alli, meanwhile, won the Football League Young Player of the Year award after delivering 16 goals and seven assists for Karl Robinson’s Dons in League One. He started the season as MK owned, but Spurs swooped for his services in January before loaning him back.
With promotion an odds-on prospect for Milton Keynes fans, they shall be keen to try and catch Preston North End in the second automatic spot, though Simon Grayson’s side are a point ahead.
It might have to be the lethal lottery of the play-offs for Alli and co, though. SkyBet’s latest promo go 4/1 for the Dons to finally get out of the third-tier via this method.