This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Regular Punter’ series, where we gather original opinions from select, passionate fans of the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…
Football League World’s Derby County fan pundit Matthew Bailey has signalled his delight at the club’s signing of Everton attacking midfielder Kieran Dowell.
The club confirmed his arrival on a season-long loan on Thursday night, becoming the first signing of the Phillip Cocu era, and Bailey believes he will prove to be a great addition.
“I think for Cocu’s first signing it shows real intent and it shows the way that he wants to play going forward,” the regular punter told Football League World.
“I think that the signing is great given what he can bring to the team.
“He scores goals from midfield, gets assists and plays with a lot of energy and I think it was important to get a player in like that given the fact that [Mason] Mount and [Harry] Wilson provided both last season and have now left.”
Dowell joined Sheffield United’s promotion charge in January last season and featured regularly for Chris Wilder’s side, assisting one goal and scoring twice during his spell, including a crucial winner against West Brom in February.
The 2017/18 season saw him impress in a season-long spell with Derby’s arch-rivals Nottingham Forest, during which he notched nine goals and four assists.
And Bailey believes that this past experience, coupled with Cocu’s intentions, makes him a ready-made starter for the Rams.
“I think if Cocu is going to be playing the 4-3-3 formation that he has mentioned in earlier interviews we need a player like Dowell,” he said.
“Pick up the ball and drive the team up the pitch, look for those quick passes and have a go from distance.
“I will be watching the game against Bristol City on Saturday night and hopefully Dowell will get a chance to show what he can do and then we will see how he is going to fit into Cocu’s style of play.”
With the likes of Mount, Wilson and Fikayo Tomori departing Pride Park at the end of last season for their respective clubs, it left the Rams with a lot to do this summer.
Couple with that the departure of manager Frank Lampard, and you have a very tricky time planning for what will be a short transfer window.
And, although Bailey is happy with the work done so far, he would like to see a few more key positions filled.
“So far I think it has been rather quiet,” he said.
“But with everything that has gone on with the Lampard fiasco it was expected.
“I think Shinnie is a great start. I watched him in the first half of the friendly on Wednesday night and he looked sharp so we will wait and see.
“I would personally like us to get another winger in, potentially two, because I don’t have a lot of faith in ours at the moment.
“I would also like us to get another centre-back in as Tomori, after last season, is going to be a huge miss.”