I’M GLAD BALDOCK IS STRIKING BACK
BRISTOL City may not be having a fabulous time of it this season, but it’s great to see their striker Sam Baldock among the goals.
Prolific at MK Dons as a teenager, Baldock joined West Ham in August 2011 for a fee of £2.5m. It was no mean outlay for an untested 21-year-old, yet he wore the burden lightly, scoring five goals in his first six starts.
Sadly, injury then consigned him to the sidelines and, unwilling to await his recovery, Sam Allardyce began signing strikers left, right and centre.
By the time Baldock returned, he was arguably fifth choice behind Ricardo Vaz Te, Carlton Cole, Nicky Maynard and Freddie Piquionne. He never scored for the Hammers again and was sold following promotion to the Premier League.
Sometimes, moving to a big club is patently idiotic. The stagnation of men like John Bostock and, as we saw last week, Josh McQuoid are prime examples.
But Baldock proved he was ready for the Championship. He simply encountered rank bad luck and a club unwilling to wait.
Had he stayed fit, Maynard and Vaz Te might never have arrived. He might even be a Premier League footballer.
Instead he is back in League One, but with 17 goals and counting, he shouldn’t be there for too long.
PROLIFIC: Sam Baldock scores for Bristol City against MK Dons