Derby County full back Lee Buchanan is said to be of interest to West Ham United ahead of the summer transfer window, with the youngster having once again impressed for the Rams this term.
Still aged only 20 at the time of writing, the Derby youth product has featured heavily under Wayne Rooney this season and as a result has racked up a respectable tally of 33 appearances across all competitions for the Championship outfit.
Naturally his experience beyond his years and consistent showings have attracted admiring glances from elsewhere, with the Hammers said to really like the look of the defender who progressed through to the first team set up at Pride Park just a few years ago.
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With Buchanan’s current contract at Pride Park set to expire in one years time, we take a look at the potential paths he could take as he weighs up his future with the Rams.
Move to West Ham?
With the Premier League side currently competing for a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, the Hammers present a mouthwatering destination for a player of Buchanan’s age.
David Moyes has shown a willingness to put faith in young English talent this term and would surely jump at the chance to bring in yet another promising player in the form of the Derby left back.
They are bound to have money to spend this summer after their success this term and would no doubt be interested in signing the 20-year-old for a knock down price due to his contractual situation in the Midlands.
If they qualify for Europe as expected, you’d have to feel that County would have a big fight on their hands to keep the defender.
Stay at Derby County?
The Rams are sure to be keen to tie down their young prospect to a new deal and as a result talks are sure to already be underway or in the pipeline for this summer.
Rooney is likely to overhaul a portion of his squad this summer as the club seeks to move on from the failed Phillip Cocu era and as a result Buchanan may wish to wait and see what direction the Rams are looking to go in before deciding on where he sees himself long term.
At 20-years-old, the full back is already seen as a key player and he will know that if he stays put, he is guaranteed to be one of the first names on the team sheet.
After a season to forget, you have to feel that Derby must have ambitions of making the play-offs next term at least in order to keep Buchanan at Pride Park alongside some of their other coveted youngsters.