It’s going to be a huge summer for Derby County, as Wayne Rooney looks to really put his mark on the club.
Whilst the immediate priority is securing safety, the Rams are in a decent position to manage that, and once that’s confirmed attention will quickly turn to the next campaign.
Even in his short managerial career, Rooney has shown he possesses a ruthless streak, something that will be needed as he looks to transform Derby.
Many new signings are sure to come through the door in the summer, but there’s no denying that a new striker will be the priority. The Rams have managed just 30 goals in 40 games, with Colin Kazim-Richards the top scorer on seven. Clearly, it’s not good enough.
So, it’s no surprise to see names linked with Derby in the press recently, with The Sun reporter Tom Barclay claiming the East Midlands outfit are one of many Championship clubs monitoring Accrington’s Dion Charles.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable rise, and his performances this season in League One suggest he is ready to make the next step, with 17 goals a very good return.
The ultimate 2021 Derby County quiz – Can you get 24/24 correct?
However, signing Charles as the main number nine this summer would represent a major risk for Rooney.
As touched upon, Derby’s goalscoring record is a huge concern, so they need to do all they can to find someone who would guarantee goals. With Charles, there are doubts.
Not only has he not played at this level before, this is his first really prolific season in League One, so whilst many will feel he can cope, you would want to see him perform over a longer period before finalising the deal.
With his age, Charles does have time to develop, and he certainly could turn out to be a bargain for a second tier club.
But, if Rooney wants to have Derby challenging for the play-offs, he would be better served bringing in someone with proven pedigree at this level.
Finances may make that hard, but players will still be attracted to play for the Manchester United legend, and Derby are a big club in the Championship.
To hit the heights that Rooney will be dreaming off, a productive summer is required, and even though Charles could turn out to be a smart capture, Derby should be targeting a more proven player to solve what is a glaring issue.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.