After struggling off the field throughout the 2021-22 Championship season, Derby County were relegated to League One despite a valiant effort from Wayne Rooney and his squad of players.
Rooney was dealt many bad hands, including 21 points worth of deductions that sealed the Rams’ fate in the end, but at one point it looked like County would rise from the adversity.
If any positives did come out of the season – aside from the growth in the relationship between Rooney and the fanbase – it was the amount of youngsters that were handed an opportunity to impress.
Many of them did just that, with Dylan Williams and Luke Plange securing Premier League moves to Chelsea and Crystal Palace respectively, and Malcolm Ebiowei could follow that pair.
Quiz: Which club did Derby County sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?
The 18-year-old only arrived at Pride Park in September 2021, having departed Scottish giants Rangers, but after making an impression in Derby’s underage teams, he was handed a senior debut in February against Hull City.
Come the end of the season, the winger had made 16 Championship appearances – 11 of them starts – but he saved his goal contributions until two of the final three matches.
Against Bristol City he delivered a peach of a left-footed cross onto the head of Craig Forsyth, and then against Blackpool he not only got on the scoresheet for the very first time, but also put in another scorcher of a ball for Eiran Cashin to nod home a second for the Rams.
It was inevitable due to recent performances that Ebiowei would attract interest this summer, especially with an expiring contract, with clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur, Leeds United, Fulham and Crystal Palace all wanting the teenager, according to The Sun.
What do his seasonal stats say though?
Per Wyscout, in his 16 appearances under Rooney, Ebiowei hit 49 crosses – which is an average of 3.06 a game, which showed that he wanted to make things happen at the very least – even though only 13 of those were accurate, which is 0.81 per appearance.
When it came to attempted dribbles, Ebiowei tried 156 of those – 9.75 per game – again something that showed he wanted to be on the ball and try and create attacks for himself.
4.69 of those each match were accurate, which is a fair effort considering the winger’s inexperience in the senior game.
They are the two main attributes that the youngster has shown in his time at Derby, and they are key ones for a winger who seemingly has the world at his feet.
Premier League interest is going to be hard to ignore for Ebiowei this summer – with Rooney though suggesting that the player wants to remain at the club the restrictions regarding contract offers cannot disappear soon enough if it means tying the ex-Arsenal man’s future up.