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 reportedly keen on free agent striker Armand Gnanduillet but face competition from Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Rotherham United.
According to Football Insider, the Championship clubs are all racing to sign the forward this month after he left Turkish side Altay SK in December.
So would he be a good signing for the Rams? And do they need him?
We asked our FLW writers for their thoughts…
I actually think this would be a great signing for Derby.
In any other walk of life, a Championship club would be desperate to land a free-scoring League One forward.
Gnanduillet scored 18 goals in all competitions for Blackpool last season, and is a player who I think is capable of doing well in the Championship.
Of course, his time in Turkey didn’t go to plan, but he’d be desperate to make an impact upon a potential return to England.
Derby are lacking that physical presence up top, aside from Colin Kazim-Richards. They have good, tricky wide players who have a good delivery on them, and a powerful striker like Gnanduillet could be the missing piece in their jigsaw.
Can you name each of these 17 ex-Derby County players just by looking at these 3 clues?
Whilst this might sound like a relatively underwhelming signing from a Derby perspective, I believe this would be a shrewd piece of business by Wayne Rooney.
Following the uncertainty of Jack Marriott, Derby are still desperately in need of a striker to score the goals to ensure they retain their Championship status, and I think they might be onto something with Gnanduillet.
The 6ft4 frontman is not only a physical presence, but his goalscoring record across his final two seasons – 32 goals in less than 100 matches – is an impressive return, and therefore I reckon this would be a solid addition for the Pride Park outfit.
This does feel like something of a risk to me, but it could be one that’s worth taking.
Gnanduillet has never really played at Championship level before, meaning there may well be some questions about whether he can compete in that division, particularly given his spell in Turkey was not exactly prolific.
However, it is clear that Derby need a goalscorer to help pull them away from the relegation over the next few months, and Gnanduillet’s past returns with Blackpool do suggest that he does possess the potential to make that sort of impact for them.
Add to that the fact that he is currently available on a free transfer, which means there will at least not be too much financial pressure attached to this deal, and it does seem as though it could be one that is worth looking into for the Rams.