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 manager Phillip Cocu will be working hard to get his side’s promotion challenge back on track starting with the visit of in-form Preston this weekend, with the Rams looking to improve on the 16th spot they currently find themselves.
Cocu is also looking for new recruits, with Football Insider reporting that Blackpool striker Armand Gnanduillet is a January target, having already scored 12 goals in all competitions so far this season.
So would Gnanduillet be a good addition at Pride Park and is he actually needed?
“I’m not sure he is what Derby need.
“Whilst he has had a good season so far, it’s the first time he has really been prolific in his career and at 27-years-old that has to be a worry.
“As well as that, he hasn’t proven himself at this level before and you would worry about whether he can make what is a significant step up.
“With Martyn Waghorn and Jack Marriott by no means certain starters under Phillip Cocu, the only reason the Rams should sign another striker is if the player is a huge upgrade on what they have. And, there’s no way you can say Gnanduillet is.
“They should be aiming for better.”
“Whilst Gnanduillet’s performances for Blackpool this season have been very impressive, Derby should steer clear of splashing the cash on him in January.
“Having never played at Championship level before, the forward could struggle to adapt to the pace and the power that the league is famed for if he makes the switch to Pride Park.
“Although the Rams’ issues in front of goal need to be addressed in the upcoming transfer window, swooping for Gnanduillet may be too much of a risk for Phillip Cocu who is already under a considerable amount of pressure.
“Therefore, if Derby are looking to bolster their attacking options, they should be targeting players who know exactly what it takes to thrive in the second-tier.”
Would Arnaud Gnanduillet be a good addition at Pride Park?
“Gnanduillet is in very good form for Blackpool so far this season, and is arguably having the best season of his career in England, with ten goals in 16 League One games – and this campaign’s evidence he could well be a useful addition for the Rams.
“However, he is 27-years-old and he has yet to really ever be tested at Championship level, which would make signing him in January a bit of a gamble when Derby are really in need of bringing in players who they know can improve their squad.
“The striker’s goal scoring record across his career is not very prolific and Derby already have both Jack Marriott and Chris Martin in their squad, so a move for Gnanduillet might not be the most key bit of business they could be looking to do in January.
“Cocu’s side are more in need of singing players to increase the levels of creativity within their squad, and Gnanduillet is not the sort of striker who will be able to create chances for his team-mates, so he does not seem the right fit for the Rams at this moment.”