This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Terrace Talk’ series, which provides personal opinions from our FLW Fan Pundits regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
FLW’s Derby County fan pundit Jason Straw believes the club’s most improved player this season was Malcolm Ebiowei.
The youngster made his breakthrough into the team during this campaign, making 15 Championship appearances for Wayne Rooney’s side.
The 17-year old has continued to impress during his time in the team and has integrated well into the senior squad.
His debut came in a 3-1 win over Hull City in early February, coming off the bench in the closing stages of the game.
That was quickly followed-up with his second appearance in a few days as he played the final eight minutes of the team’s 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.
But, over time, his importance to the side has gradually increased and he has now started nine league games in a row coming into the final match of the regular season.
Straw has been impressed with how quickly he has been able to assert himself in the team and believes that he has offered the team a lot going forward.
“Most improved player is probably a player that only came into the side at about the half-way point: Malcolm Ebiowei,” Straw told Football League World.
“As a 16, 17-year old lad who just come in, nobody really heard of him and performed fantastically well in those 11 or 12 games, to really really offer something forward for Derby.”
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Unfortunately for Ebiowei, Derby were unable to avoid relegation to League One for next season.
Rooney’s side looked like they could mount an unlikely escape but eventually left themselves with too much work to do, so had their fate sealed with several games spare.
Ebiowei’s future at Pride Park is unclear, but he could become an even more important part of the side in the third division if he does opt to stay.
It is impressive how quickly he has been able to become a constant presence in the side.
There has been so much turmoil at the club in the last few years, but Ebiowei is one of many young players who have come in and thrived despite the financial difficulties at Derby.
It is evident that the 17-year old has a bright future ahead of him, regardless of whether or not he stays at the Rams.