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 interested in a deal to sign Luton Town midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, according to the Daily Mail.
Tunnicliffe has reportedly turned down a new contract with Luton Town, and is attracting interest from a number of clubs ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
The Daily Mail also claim that Huddersfield Town, Hull City and Barnsley are all believed to be keen on a deal to sign the midfielder, who spent the early years of his career with Manchester United.
Derby County boss Wayne Rooney will be looking to strengthen his side ahead of the 2021/22 season, after narrowly avoiding relegation into League One on the final day, after drawing 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Derby’s rumoured interest in signing Tunnicliffe this summer, and whether he’d be a good addition to Rooney’s side ahead of the new season or not.
I certainly feel like he’d be a useful addition for what is a pretty young Derby County midfield at the time of writing.
He has great experience of playing at Championship level and is sure to be a player that Wayne Rooney knows well from their time together at Manchester United.
He didn’t play as many games as he would’ve liked for Luton last season and it’s unsurprising to see that he may leave.
I think he would do a good job of sitting in front of that Derby defence and screening the half spaces that are left between the backline and the midfield.
Overall this would be a smart addition by the Rams and it would indicate which direction they are trying to go in next season.
Ryan Tunnicliffe would be a signing the Rams may not have been expecting to make with Luton Town on the rise. However, his contract rejection at Kenilworth Road amid the arrivals of Allan Campbell and Henri Lansbury has opened the door for Derby to snap him up.
With continuous ownership uncertainty, there is no wiggle room available for Derby to gamble big money on incomings this summer, so the addition of Tunnicliffe on a free transfer would be a steady signing to make if they can beat off interest from other second-tier sides.
The 28-year-old’s vast experience at multiple clubs including Fulham, Millwall and the Hatters may elevate them from the lowly position they found themselves in for much of last season, but he will have to battle it out for a place in central midfield with the likes of Graeme Shinnie, Max Bird, Jason Knight and Krystian Bielik all competing for a starting spot.
You could even compare this potential deal to Stoke City’s interest in Corry Evans. The 28-year-old is not exactly a signing many Derby fans will desperately want, but he’s an addition the club may need if there are departures at Pride Park in central midfield over the next few months.
Whoever wins his signature will have a tidy and reliable Championship player on their hands.
Did these midfielders ever score a goal for Derby County?
This would be an okay signing for the Rams.
Obviously, they’re in a difficult situation right now and the squad is looking very weak as they prepare for pre-season.
There’s no doubt that some fans will be underwhelmed by Tunniclife if he did join because he hasn’t exactly shone at some of his previous clubs. But, he would provide an energy to the middle of the park, which is crucial to the way that Rooney wants the team to play, and he offers depth in a key position where Derby are a player or two short.
Plus, he has plenty of experience in the Football League, so he’s not someone who needs time to adapt. That makes him a low-risk move for the Rams but there’s no denying that much more will be needed this summer for Rooney.