Derby County are set for an uncertain summer, as off-field issues continue to overshadow the club.
However, boss Wayne Rooney will be trying to make plans on the transfer front, and the fact they only survived relegation on the final day shows that a lot of work needs to be done to improve the Rams.
And, one man who has been linked with a switch to Pride Park is Alex Pritchard. The Huddersfield midfielder is out-of-contract in the summer and he won’t be staying.
Whether Derby can finalise a move in their current situation remains to be seen, but here we look at the impacts that his arrival would have if Rooney could land the playmaker…
The ultimate 2021 Derby County quiz – Can you get 24/24 correct?
Funds can be used elsewhere
Firstly, whatever happens off the pitch, it seems highly unlikely that Rooney is going to be given a big budget to work with. So, it’s about using whatever money he has wisely and searching for bargains.
As a free agent, Pritchard would be a smart capture. Admittedly, he will command decent wages, but no transfer fee is important to Derby and it will allow the recruitment team to focus the funds elsewhere.
There are more pressing issues than attacking midfield to address, so if Pritchard could be brought in on a free and any money went to signing a new number nine, it would be clever from Derby.
More creativity is added to the team
36 goals in 46 games highlights the glaring issue that Derby need to address. They simply don’t find the net often enough.
Pritchard isn’t going to rectify that completely, because he has never been prolific in his career, although he did manage 12 in the Championship for Brentford once.
However, that’s not really his game. But, Derby’s issues aren’t solely down to poor finishing, they don’t create enough either. The 28-year-old could help on that front because he has an eye for a pass, picks up intelligent positions and is progressive with the ball.
Those qualities would seriously help the Rams in the final third.