Derby County are facing a massive challenge this summer with their recruitment after what has been a turbulent time off the field since they managed to survive on the last day of last season.
Wayne Rooney’s side have had by far the most challenging summer to date of any other side in the Championship next term. They do at least finally know they will be a confirmed second-tier side next season.
The Rams are under a difficult transfer embargo as well that prevents them from signing any players on a permanent deal from another club, which means that they can only bring in free transfers and loan players to bolster their squad.
While Rooney’s side are also unable to sign loan players on deals for longer than a single campaign and must also not pay over a certain amount in wages.
All of those issues mean that Derby are going to really struggle to add to their squad during the transfer window before the start of the Championship campaign.
That is a massive problem because the Rams’ squad is looking very thin in key areas across the field following the departures of a number of squad players including Martyn Waghorn, Jack Marriott and Scott Malone.
However, Derby have revealed with a video posted on the club’s official Twitter account that both experienced attackers Sone Aluko and Sam Baldock are training with the Rams squad as they attempt to gain fitness for the start of next term and sort out their futures.
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) July 13, 2021
Given the pair are training with the Rams at present, it could be expected that they are likely to at least be under consideration by Rooney in terms of offering them a deal to be with the squad for next season in the Championship.
Any other summer and the prospect of signing two free agents at the age of 32 who have been released ahead of the transfer window would not be the most appealing prospect for Derby supporters.
However, given the financial constraints and the transfer embargo the Rams could do a lot worse that adding players with a wealth of Championship experience to their squad.
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Both Aluko and Baldock have previously won promotion from the Championship with the former having been a vital part of promotion-winning squads at Hull City and also with Fulham. While the latter helped Brighton get to the Premier League during the 2016/17 season scoring 11 goals in the process.
Aluko is a player that still has a lot of quality to offer and he has the flexibility of being able to operate in both the wide attacking positions and upfront.
That means that the 32-year-old would be able to provide competition and cover in numerous positions and would perhaps seem him able to perform a similar role to what Waghorn did for the Rams.
Baldock, meanwhile, has never been a prolific forward in the Championship but he is someone that has proven he can perform in the English second tier and add some important goals to his side.
He has reached double figures for goals in the second tier a couple of times and whilst he failed to score last term, he did score five goals in each of the previous two campaigns for Reading.
You would have to feel that both players would be able to add something to Derby’s squad at this present time and it could be that the pair earn themselves a chance to remain in the Championship due to the Rams’ current predicament. It is a chance they would be motivated to take being free-agents and they would both have a lot to prove.