Derby County flexed their muscles late in the January transfer window, landing Wayne Rooney a series of signings to bolster his chances of keeping the Rams in the Championship.
All of a sudden, after an up and down month, Derby look to have added enough to finally start moving in the right direction.
However, if that is to be the case, pressure will be on one signing in particular: Lee Gregory.
Lee Gregory: Announced ✅@lgreggers9 ✍️
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) February 1, 2021
Gregory has arrived at Pride Park on loan from Stoke City and comes in to help lift the goalscoring burden off the shoulders of Colin Kazim-Richards in Rooney’s squad.
As things stand, Derby are the lowest scorers in the Championship having found the back of the net 17 times this season. For context, that is one fewer than Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers, two of the division’s poorest performers.
Gregory has to help Derby put that right and it is what he has been brought into the club to do.
However, that’s easier said than done for a striker that’s hardly had a prolific streak about him over the last couple of seasons.
A total of 46 Championship fixtures as a Stoke player saw Gregory score just seven goals, three of which came across a three-game burst if you overlap the 2019/20 and current campaign.
Gregory arrives without a goal in five appearances for Stoke despite that fact that they have scored 32 times this season and carried enough goalscoring threat to remain in-and-around the top-six.
It’s a very different environment at Derby, who will hope that Gregory can rediscover the type of goalscoring form that made him such a success at Millwall.
Prior to his Stoke switch, the 32-year-old had scored 29 goals across three seasons in the Championship with the Lions. Sandwiched between that were 38 League One goals.
There’s no denying that Gregory has the goals Derby crave in him, but the obstacle he has to overcome is winding back the clock, putting his Stoke failures behind him and becoming the player he was at Millwall.
If he can do that, he will have delivered a key part of what Derby looked for in the January transfer window.