According to reports, Wayne Rooney is already pulling his weight as a player-coach at Derby County by attempting to tempt Luciano Acosta to follow him to the Midlands based club.
The attacking midfielder has spent the best part of two seasons playing together with Rooney in that central attacking role and it is clearly a combination the former Manchester United man has enjoyed.
Between them, in those two seasons, they have scored 41 goals and provided 30 assists. So, the news ought to create some buzz and excitement around Pride Park.
But the transfer speculation will definitely please some more than others. So with that being said, here is one winner and one loser should Derby go in for Acosta.
Winner: Wayne Rooney
The real winner will be England’s record goalscorer. First of all, he will feel far more comfortable playing in a completely new division if he has a player that he has spent two years with playing alongside him.
The Argentine is a central attacking midfielder and played in and around Rooney for the majority of their recent campaign. The understanding they have built during their time at DC United will only benefit the attacker. Bringing an established partnership to Pride Park would be a phenomenal bit of business.
Also – and perhaps more importantly – it will show the owner, manager and supporters that he still has influence as a huge name in the sport and is already thinking with his coaching hat on. If he can persuade a player like Acosta to come to England, there can be no questioning his authority in the game.
Loser: Tom Lawrence
The loser could really be any number of Derby attackers. Perhaps none more so than Tom Lawrence. Recently, manager Phillip Cocu has switched to a narrow diamond formation with Lawrence at the tip of the midfield. This is exactly the same position that Acosta is deployed in.
Given his recent off-field woes and lack of assists this season, the Welshman would have to feel threatened by his arrival, even if he is the club’s current top scorer with five goals to his name.
A bit of competition might even give Lawrence a boost and make him fight for his place in the starting XI. However, Lawrence has only just started to play games in that central role, and if Derby do go in search of Rooney’s former teammate, it could already be taken away from him.