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…
Free-agent striker Oumar Niasse is reportedly set to snub Derby County in favour of a move abroad.
The 30-year-old left Everton at the end of last season and is yet to make his next move, with the Rams and Middlesbrough thought to be both interested.
TEAMtalk has reported that Niasse is set to reject interest from the Championship duo as he has offers on the table from sides in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
But how big of a blow is that for the Rams?
We asked our FLW writers just that…
It’s not too big of a blow in my opinion.
On one hand, Derby are still quite light in attack and probably need to bring in another striker, however, that can wait until January, as Martyn Waghorn, Colin Kazim-Richards and Jahmal Hector-Ingram are still very good options to choose from up top.
I’ve never really been a fan of Niasse during his spells with Everton and Hull City in England. He’s never really scored enough goals to suggest why he should be a regular starter for the Rams and suggest that he can cut it in the Championship.
They shouldn’t bring another striker in purely because it suits them. They should bring one in who they have scouted and watched for some time, and someone they know will improve them.
I don’t think Niasse is that man.
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This leaves Derby in a problematic position.
They are clearly short on options up top and Niasse would have been a useful option as he is a powerful player and has the potential to do well in the Championship. However, he isn’t the prolific scorer that they need and he also hasn’t played enough football over the years, so concerns about his arrival would have been justified.
Ultimately, the Rams had a poor window and the fact they are on the lookout for free agents shows just how bad it was. They will have to cope until January now and they will need Martyn Waghorn to stay fit if they are to be successful.
So, this is a slight blow but the bigger issue is that this wasn’t rectified in before the deadline earlier this month.
In truth, this isn’t a major blow for Derby.
Besides a decent 2017-18 campaign whilst at Everton, Niasse’s goal-record in England is relatively uninspiring – just 14 goals in 72 matches, although all of which did come in the Premier League.
Not to mention that Niasse has made just three first-team appearances in the previous 18 months – with the last of those coming in January. So he’d need time to get up to speed, and with Derby struggling at the wrong end of the Championship table, they cannot afford to wait around.
Having lost the goals of Jack Marriott, the Rams will surely want to bring some in that’s slightly more prolific, and someone with Championship experience to match.