In a season where Covid-19 continues to completely disrupt the dynamic of the beautiful game, Derby County can count themselves as one of the clubs who have been cut the deepest.
The Rams sit five points clear of the relegation zone, but are by no means in a comfortable position.
After such a poor start, a period of revitalisation seemed to steer the club clear of any League One talk, but a run of seven games without a win has thrown them back into the relegation dogfight.
The most disappointing aspect of Derby’s season thus far is their inability to score goals.
The Rams have scored just 27 goals in 38 league games – a record that is only superior to Wycombe’s 25.
34-year-old striker Colin Kazim-Richards leads the race for the club’s golden boot with seven goals, with Martyn Waghorn and Jason Knight in joint second place with a mere three goals apiece.
Kazim-Richards is fast approaching the concluding stages of his career, highlighting an immediate need to address the goal-scoring crisis Wayne Rooney’s side are having this season.
Here we take a look at three strikers Derby could look to sign this summer….
Charlie Wyke has revitalised his Sunderland career this season, netting 22 league goals in 34 games.
Adding more glamour to Wyke’s recent goal-scoring record, is the fact that 15 of his goals this campaign have come in 2021.
The 28-year-old has spent the majority of his career fluctuating around the lower leagues and it now seems the perfect time for him to take that next step in his career.
His availability almost entirely depends on whether Sunderland get promoted this season, but he will certainly be on Derby’s radar.
Despite their recent woes, Derby remains an appealing Championship club for most.
The prospect of playing under Wayne Rooney could also help secure the signing of Wyke should Derby make an approach or even show a slight interest.
With Sheffield Wednesday facing an uphill battle to remain a Championship club, Jordan Rhodes could be available for second tier clubs in the summer.
The 31-year-old has spent the majority of the season outside the starting eleven, but Darren Moore’s return has imbued the forward with new life.
Rhodes has scored three goals and has grabbed an assist in three starts under Moore, reminding the Championship of his abilities. Rhodes is another player who may see his future decided on the basis of Wednesday’s relegation battle, and with his contract expiring in the summer, it may prove quite difficult for the club to keep hold of their man.
Rhodes has consistently demonstrated his goal-scoring capabilities in the Championship – a type of player that Derby are in desperate need of.
21-year-old striker Luke Jephcott is enjoying a prolific campaign with Plymouth Argyle, scoring 16 league goals already this season.
The Welshman’s progress has been monitored by a whole host of Championship clubs and he seems destined for a move after such a successful season thus far.
Regarded a natural goal-scorer, Jephcott also demonstrates a particularly clever aspect to his game that is rather uncommon for players of his age.
He is a player who constantly communicates with his strike partner to ensure they are not making the same run and possesses the ability to drop deeper and link the play.