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 set to make a decision on Lee Gregory’s future this summer, according to Wayne Rooney.
The striker is currently on loan from Stoke City and has enjoyed a decent time at Pride Park after scoring three goals and creating one more for the Rams.
While his season has been brought to an end by injury it seems that Derby could be open to making a fresh move for the 32-year-old this summer, with Gregory having one more year on his deal at the Bet365 Stadium.
But should Derby be looking to sign the player this summer?
The team at FLW have their say…
Can you name each of these 17 ex-Derby County players just by looking at these 3 clues?
I do think it could be worth looking into a new deal for Gregory for Derby.
The Rams are not exactly well-stocked in terms of options upfront at the minute, so they may well need to add to their attacking options in the summer, not least with Martyn Waghorn’s contract expiring at the end of this season.
With that in mind, it could make sense to try and keep Gregory around for the 2021/22 campaign, given he does seem to have made a reasonably useful contribution to Derby since making the move to Pride Park.
Add to that the fact that Gregory’s own contract at Stoke is set to expire this summer, meaning he could easily be affordable for Derby, and it appears as though this is a move that could make sense from a financial perspective as well, so I do think the Rams should be looking to get something done here.
I’d be looking to keep him at the club.
Gregory has shown over the years that he can play to a decent standard in the Championship, and I think he’d be a decent addition to the Derby County team ahead of next season.
He’s scored three goals in 11 appearances for the Rams, and if they’re playing in the Championship next season, then he could be an excellent player to lead the line next season.
Derby could do far worse than signing Gregory on a permanent deal in the summer, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him wanting to leave Stoke City, with regular minutes hard to come by with the Potters.
Rooney has already suggested that he has been impressed by the energy and attitude that Gregory brought to the side following his arrival from Stoke City in January. So in that sense, if he returned it would make sense for the Rams.
However, there will be some fans who would be liking them to maybe move in a different direction and look to bring in someone who could add more goals to the side. Gregory is a decent goal scorer at his best, but he did miss some good opportunities for the Rams and he is not someone who you could envisage getting 15 to 20 goals a season for them.
If the ambition is to challenge for promotion then Gregory might not be the best option to pursue. Having said that he would be a useful option to have within their squad and bring off the bench when they need to either see out a game or potentially get a goal.
Derby have to give Rooney the backing to bring in the players that he wants this summer, so if he feels he wants Gregory to return then the Rams should be able to make that happen for him.