This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Derby County are battling East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest for Doncaster Rovers midfielder Ben Whiteman, according to The Athletic.
Both the Rams and Forest have struggled this season and seem to be keen to sign the 24-year-old this month to help turn things around.
But would he be a good signing for Derby? And do they need him?
We asked our FLW writers for their thoughts…
He’d be an upgrade on what they currently have, that’s for sure.
Whiteman is a class act and has everything you want in a midfielder. He can tackle, score goals, pass the ball, and create chances.
It would be some coup to get him, though, given Derby’s current situation both on and off the pitch as well as the size and positions of those clubs also interested.
They lack creativity from every area of the pitch really, so bringing in a midfielder like him would be a shrewd piece of business.
I’d be impressed if they managed to get it done.
Did Derby County sign each of these 14 players for more or less than £1 million?
I really like the sound of this.
Whiteman has been brilliant for Doncaster Rovers this season, and with eight goals and seven assists to his name, he’s a player that has a positive impact at both ends of the pitch from midfield.
He’s a player attracting significant interest though, with the likes of Nottingham Forest and Preston North End being keen on a deal to land his signature.
I certainly think he’s capable of forcing his way into the Derby starting XI, but I do have concerns over the impact it could have on younger players in a similar position.
Unless someone like Jason Knight was to depart in the summer, then some might argue that the money on this deal might be better spent elsewhere.
But in terms of quality, it’s a move that would tick all the boxes for the Rams.
I think he is needed, mainly because he will add some extra cover for the Rams in midfield, whilst also possessing genuine quality.
He seems ready to step up to the Championship after sparkling in the lower leagues and I think a move to Derby would be the perfect next step in his career as he moves into his prime years at the age of 24.
A good passing range and sound tactical nous makes him the ideal sort of player that the second tier side are looking to attract and his signing would be a signal of intent to their league rivals this month.
It all depends on who takes on the manager’s role but I think the club could do a lot worse than going for Whiteman in January.