Derby County remain in firm promotion contention this season, despite a tricky run of form in the Sky Bet Championship.
Gary Rowett has put last season’s poor effort behind Derby, and heading into the run-in, the Rams are focused on strengthening their grip on a play-off place.
Perhaps most impressive about this season’s promotion push is that they are doing it without Tom Ince, who prior to his move to Huddersfield Town, had been the attacking outlet driving Derby on in the Championship.
However, despite Derby’s success without Ince, we believe that Rowett hasn’t properly replaced what the winger brought to the club.
Here at FLW, one player we believe could add a lot to Derby’s attacking play is Max Gradel, the AFC Bournemouth winger who has been starved of Premier League opportunities recently and finds himself back on-loan in France.
A summer move for Gradel could be a stroke of genius from Rowett, whether Derby find themselves in the Premier League or Championship.
Of course, Gradel is a different type of winger to Ince, but he creativity and goalscoring threat from a wide area is not dissimilar to what Ince brought.
A spell with Leeds United earlier in the 30-year-old’s career brought 25 goals and 13 assists, really enhancing his reputation, and despite things not exactly going the winger’s way in recent years, he could still offer a lot.
Gradel, who is valued at £6.3m by transfermarkt, has a good record in the Championship and a point to prove in English football after a difficult spell with Bournemouth.
Derby could be the perfect destination for Gradel in the summer, and Rowett moving for the winger could be a transfer that suits all parties involved.
Derby fans… Let us know your thoughts!