Derby County may not be able to add players to their first-team squad due to EFL restrictions, but their off-field issues aren’t stopping them from bolstering their talented academy squad.
The Rams run a Category One academy which means they have some of the best facilities in the country, and their under- under-18’s squad regularly play against giants such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool and more than hold their own.
Several players have come through the academy system and into the first-team at Derby but they’re also open to recruiting from elsewhere and that’s exactly what they’ve done with the signing of Malcolm Ebiowei.
The Rams have swooped for the 18-year-old attacking midfielder just one year after he joined the Rangers youth setup.
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Ebiowei has represented both England and the Netherlands at youth level and was previously on the books of Arsenal before jumping ship to the Gers in early 2020.
Derby have confirmed that Ebiowei has passed a medical and signed a one-year contract with the club where he will seemingly primarily play with the under-18’s side.
This could be a shrewd little pick-up for County amid all their other troubles.
Ebiowei clearly has a lot of talent as he’s played for two big clubs in Arsenal and Rangers, so if Derby’s coaches and facilities can tap into that he could end up being the next player to come through into the club’s first team.
He’s got a way to go to prove himself yet though – Ebiowei will be competing with other talented midfielders for a place in Adam Robinson’s team.
Despite Rangers having a good youth setup themselves, Ebiowei seemingly couldn’t turn down the opportunity to return to England and Derby will be hoping their investment in his services will be a worthwhile one.