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 on the verge of signing Fiorentina striker Bobby Duncan.
The 19-year-old left Liverpool last summer after proving a prolific forward for their age-group sides, joining the Serie A side as he looked for more senior opportunities.
He’s not been able to find that and, according to The Athletic, he’s now close to joining Derby on a free transfer – though Fiorentina want to ensure there is a sell-on clause.
But would he be a good signing? And do they need him?
We asked our FLW writers for their thoughts…
Cocu definitely needs to bring a new striker into the club this summer, whether that’s a season professional or someone in the mould of Duncan, who is that little bit younger.
The England youth international is a top talent and, alongside some of Derby’s own emerging stars, he could certainly thrive at Pride Park. Cocu has plenty of faith in the kids and games would come.
Ultimately, it would be about tapering the expectations if Duncan signed. He’s not that seasoned pro and his goals might not flow to begin with.
However, in a tough market, there’s a lot to be said for faith in the kids and if the fans show patience, it could be a gamble worth taking.
It’s not the worst idea in the world.
He’ll feel as though he has unfinished business in English football.
Duncan left Liverpool on sour terms, and has seemingly caught the eye with his performances for Fiorentina’s youth team over in Italy.
I’m surprised that the Italian side are willing to discuss a permanent move for Duncan though, as he’s not been with the club long.
Derby certainly need additional depth in attacking areas, and Duncan would provide them with that this season.
He’ll be eager to make a name for himself in English football as well, which makes it the ideal move for all parties involved.
I think this is a shrewd signing by the Rams if they can get this deal over the line.
Have Derby County ever loaned out any of these 9 players?
He’ll offer the Rams a decent long-term option, but I can’t see him fixing Derby’s goalscoring woes immediately.
He’s likely to be placed in the club’s under-23 setup rather than the first-team and it could be a really shrewd addition by Derby, with the player clearly having ability but perhaps needing a fresh start after an underwhelming stint in Italy with Fiorentina.
As we’ve seen over the last few seasons, Derby aren’t afraid to embed and utilise youth in their starting elevens and Duncan could have a platform in which he can progress and develop, and eventually, have a realistic chance of contesting for a starting berth in the Rams’ first-team.
Duncan offers pace, guile and can run the channels, and it’s important to remember that Wayne Rooney is at the club, one of the best strikers to grace the Premier League, who can ultimately offer plentiful advice and knowledge to the 19-year-old to assist his development.