Derby County January Window
With the January window only open for 2 days, the Rams have copied last year’s blueprint and flown out the traps with 3 new signings (of different types admittedly) already.
As expected, Shots £500k move from Stoke is confirmed (significantly freeing up a loan space), Darren Bent arrives from Villa and ex Chelsea youngster and Swedish youth international Isak Ssewankambo arrives on trial with the U-21 squad. Clearly the recruitment department didn’t choose to “have the extra day” as many companies have done this year.
It’s been my view for the last 6 weeks that Derby would make a significant splash in this window.
Clearly its silly season in terms of speculation, but I always think there is a pattern to the type of players you get linked to. It’s no accident that players such as Deeney, McCormack, Wood & Castaignos, all of which would command multi million pound fees, have been linked with Derby this year. In the same way it was no co-incidence when every Scottish premier League player even vaguely near the end of his contract was linked with Derby in the Clough era.
If we look at our direct competitors, Ipswich and Bournemouth have no or very limited funds aside from the ability to do loans. Boro could possibly do a bit, Watford will more likely sell and parachute a replacement in from somewhere else in the Pozzo organisation with Norwich the only ones who may take a punt.
On that basis, if Derby bring 3 or 4 new players into the first team squad (which I think they will), we could achieve a major jump on everyone.
The signing of Bent is a great start. History is littered with teams at the top of the Championship who bring in that experienced or additional striker in January to get you those couple of extra points to get you over the line. Leicester did it with Phillips last year, Hull with George Boyd, Cardiff with Maynard, Southampton with Billy Sharp etc etc. Many players now are made for life with a couple of £4-£5m moves when in their prime however very few have moved for the fees Bent has, on so many occasions. As I said earlier today, I am convinced he will lap up the service he will get at Derby and, as someone else said, it will be great to see him both instead of and alongside Martin. Come February, as the majority of the division loses interest, we will start to see lots of goals for sure.
In other news, there was some lazy journalism recently suggesting Ibe may be re-called. I don’t see this at all and honestly don’t think Rogers is that short sighted. Talking of Ibe, what a great example of the success of our recruitment team and our relationship building – signing a relatively unknown youngster who turns out to be one of the most naturally gifted players in recent Derby County history. Compare that to the car crash, kid playing football manager desperation of Forests Tom Ince fiasco and you get the point.
So what else can we expect in this window? I think there will be at least one foreign loan, probably from Holland. I also think we may go for a creative number 10 type player to support the possible move to a plan B diamond. Left back is an obvious squad weakness although Fozzy seems to have recaptured his best form at just the right time. Finally an experienced headers and tackles centre half may also be on the menu for those tricky away games in March April that make the difference. Let’s also not forget that Wardy, Thorne and to a lesser extent Bryson are all due to come back firing.
Whatever happens it’s going to be a cracking couple of weeks and, as my brother said today, all a far cry from haggling over an extra £50k for Conor Sammon at 17.00 on deadline day.
Come on You Rams!