The unanswerable: Benik or Bamford?

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Two strikers, similar goal-scoring records, different players, one role. Benik Afobe or Patrick Bamford - who would you pick?

Unfortunately, it’s question that will never get answered.

Bamford, now plying his trade on loan at Championship side Middlesbrough, will be remembered fondly for his time at stadium:mk.

His debut in Dons colours was explosive - playing his part in three of Dons’ five goals against Colchester.

Bamford’s life at stadium:mk hit a speed-bump with injury, and he wasn’t seen all that much until March. He netted four times in 14 appearances in the run in as Dons narrowly missed out on the play-offs.

But his second spell at the club would be one that fans will hold in high esteem for years to come.

The then 20-year-old hit the back of the net 17 times in 29 appearances in Dons colours, catapulting them up League 1, and helping them to the third round of the FA Cup.

But his time was cut short - recalled by Chelsea, Bamford was farmed out to Derby as they reached the Championship play-off final. And it’d be a real blow to Dons as their season capitulated without a man to lead the line.

Graceful, explosive, technical, Bamford could score from anywhere. But his is not the only way to hit the back of the net.

Afobe has power, strength, unexpected pace and utter determination. And so far this season, his record is better than his predecessors.

The on-loan Arsenal man was the last piece of Karl Robinson’s striking trio to arrive in the summer, after Will Grigg and Tom Hitchcock.

Netting against AFC Wimbledon put him on the map, scoring the winner against Chesterfield made him a match winner, but his brace in the 4-0 win over Manchester United embedded him in Dons folklore.

And from there, he hasn’t stopped. Eleven more goals have followed since then taking his total to 15.

And frighteningly for opposition defences, they’ve come in just 20 appearances.

“I’d love a blend of the two of them,” said Robinson. “Patrick’s movement and ability and to get himself into certain areas was incredible.

“He had a wonderful running style, and he was very game-savvy. He took things on board very quickly.

“But I think our biggest achievement will be Benik, because he came here with more flaws than Patrick.

“Benik could leave us a much more potent player. He’s got power and pace that can be unplayable.

“His record speaks for itself. And he’s being rotated. I think it’s 15 in 12 starts. I think Patrick got that in about 20 starts.

“It’s unfair for me to pick.”

The manager admitted he’d challenged Afobe to beat Bamford’s goal-scoring record by Christmas.

And after the 21-year-old fired in his 14th and 15th of the season on Saturday, he admitted he’s just happy to be in the goals, and isn’t worried about comparisons with the former incumbent of Dons’ leading striker.

He said: “Patrick is a friend of mine, and when I arrived, everyone told me how good he was when he was here. I’m not trying to compare myself to him or beat his record.

“But I’m not trying to beat anyone. I’m just here to play my own game and be the best player I can be. If it’s more goals than Patrick, so be it.”

Though it’s one of football’s many unanswerable questions, the proof will ultimately be in the pudding.

If Afobe’s goals help Dons to finally get out of League 1, he may yet overtake the legacy of one that got away.