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 among an array of sides keeping tabs on Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo, as per TEAMTalk.
The 21-year-old has been on loan at Dutch second tier side Roda JC this season, where has recorded an impressive 13 goals.
Ugbo has enjoyed spells at a number of other EFL sides prior to Roda, with him featuring for Barnsley, Scunthorpe and MK Dons, albeit not producing great goalscoring returns.
So, would Ugbo be a good loan addition for Derby next season? Do they need him?
The team here at FLW discuss….
I really like this move from a Derby perspective.
I can’t say I’m wholly convinced by the options that Phillip Cocu has in his forward line at this time and signing Ugbo could give them some additional firepower.
The 21-year-old looks a bright prospect and is coming off his most productive season in front of goal and he might kick on in a Rams side that look really exciting at the moment.
Derby have benefitted from some fantastic loanees in recent years, the likes of Mason Mount and Harry Wilson, and there’s a chance bringing in Ugbo could have a similar impact.
With Chris Martin’s future unsure, you feel Cocu will want options outside Martyn Waghorn and Jack Marriott up top and Ugbo would give him just that.
Additionally, it looks set to be a window where value for money is more important than ever and this could be just that.
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I definitely think that Derby need to bolster their attacking options this summer, but whether Ugbo is the right man for them remains to be seen, and I don’t think he’d be able to cut it for a promotion-chasing team should Derby stay in the Championship.
Ugbo is clearly a talent, and he has scored a decent amount of goals over in Holland for Roda JC so he knows where the net is, but he’s never really been prolific in the EFL before, enduring spells on loan at Barnsley, Scunthorpe United and MK Dons.
Of course, at 21 years of age, there is still plenty of room for development, and given how well Derby’s young players have progressed and developed under Phillip Cocu, there is no reason to suggest why Ugbo couldn’t be a good signing for the Rams next season.
Jack Marriott has never really made an impact under Cocu and his future at Pride Park looks uncertain, and with Chris Martin also likely to leave, it’s definitely the right decision for Derby to look at a new, young, hungry centre-forward.
Only if they don’t go up.
I think Ugbo ideally needs to be playing Championship football next season – I’m not sure how much of a chance he would get in the Premier League.
You look at Tammy Abraham and think that he learned his craft far better on loan at the likes of Aston Villa and Bristol City rather than in the Premier League at Swansea.
I think the Blues will be aware of this and will want Ugbo playing regularly next season, so I only see that being on offer if Derby do not go up as, if they do, they are bound to invest in the side.
If Chris Martin leaves, a spot has opened up in the squad so he is worth a look, unless they are promoted.