Derby County are facing a hugely important summer on and off the field as they look to put themselves in a better place to challenge further up the Championship table next term.
Wayne Rooney will be hoping that he can have the resources needed to make changes to his squad in the transfer market in the summer. However, the Rams are reportedly one of ten clubs to have been hit with a potential transfer embargo. Although, Derby were under an embargo in the January window due to delays in payments of player wages, but they resolved that and made signings.
There will be the hope that the Rams can manage to get any potential embargo on transfers over the summer lifted as they did during the winter window. That would then enable Rooney to have the ability to make improvements to the squad in areas that need addressing. One of those areas that will need to be prioritised is upfront with Derby having lacked options in attack at times this term.
Derby have already been linked with a potential move for Luton Town’s James Collins and now according to The Sun they are along with Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town also considering a move for Accrington Stanley’s 17-goal forward Dion Charles. He is thought to be being valued at around £1.5 million and recently made his debut for Northern Ireland.
Here, we take a look at some of the potential impacts Charles’ arrival would have at Derby…
Gaining a player on the rise and capable of adding much-needed goals
Derby have lacked a real goal-scoring presence upfront for the last few seasons, certainly since Matej Vydra left the club for Burnley in the summer of 2018 off the back of 21 Championship goals in 2017/18. Since then, the Rams had brief hope Jack Marriott could prove to make the difference for them in 2018/19, but injury issues have halted his impact and his future is now uncertain.
Last season, Martyn Waghorn top-scored for the Rams with 12 goals in the Championship in his 43 appearances. He has only managed to score three league goals this term though and was recently left out of the squad against Stoke City due to the way he had been training. Colin Kazim-Richards is Rooney’s sides top scorer this term so far with seven goals.
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Charles could therefore come into the club and provide a much-needed goal-scoring presence in the final third. The 25-year-old would arrive full of confidence off the back of his excellent season with Accrington which has seen him fire in 17 goals in 34 appearances. Having started his career with Blackpool he has worked hard to get back into the football league and looks like a player keen to prove a point.
Providing the option for Rooney to give Kazim-Richards someone to combine with
Rooney knows that he will need to get more attacking quality from his side next season if they are to make any sort of push for the top-six in the Championship. Only bottom of the table Wycombe Wanderers have scored fewer than their 30 goals in the division to date. That is something that must be addressed come the summer.
One way they could look to score more goals is to find a potential partner for Kazim-Richards to combine with upfront. The experienced forward having the physicality needed to link the play with someone else up alongside him. Charles could potentially play off him and look to take advantage of the space he might get if defences are preoccupied with Kazim-Richards.
Potential end for Waghorn at Derby
Were the Rams to be able to bring in Charles it might well prove to be a case where they can allow Waghorn to leave the club. The forward is currently heading into the final few months of his current deal with the club. Rooney has recently suggested that no decision has yet to be made on his potential future with them still waiting on news over a potential takeover of the club.
The experienced attacker has not been a guaranteed starter this term, and although he has come back into the squad since being left out at Stoke it has raised questions over whether he will be offered a new deal. Charles coming into the club might well mean they want to free up some room on the wage bill by getting rid of Waghorn.