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Why Derby have to land this out-of-contract PL star to bid for promotion next season



Championship side Derby County will once again head into the new season as one of the favourites to achieve promotion to the Premier League.

The Rams had an indifferent 2016/17 campaign which saw them finish ninth in the table, 13 points adrift of the play-offs, in a season which saw Nigel Pearson begin the term as manager, only for Gary Rowett to finish it, with Steve McClaren sandwiched in between.

However, former Birmingham boss Rowett led the side to four wins and just two defeats from his nine Championship matches in charge, and with a full pre-season and summer transfer window for him to follow, optimism is growing that he’ll be the man to finally end their long wait for Premier League football.

Yet it’s clear based on their shortcomings last term that they need serious improvements in certain areas of the squad, most notably going forward, and that is why they must move for Crystal Palace star Fraizer Campbell this summer.

The 29-year-old striker failed to make a single Premier League appearance last term under both Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce, and given they were another side struggling for goals for the majority of the campaign, for him not to get more of a chance demonstrates that his time at Selhurst Park must be nearing an end.

And with his contract up at the end of the month and no sign of it being extended, Derby have nothing to lose in bringing Campbell to the iPro Stadium, yet they could have everything to gain from such a deal.

And that’s because, at the age of 29, Campbell should be reaching the peak of his career, and given what has gone before, that is a frightening possibility.

The former Sunderland and Cardiff striker has only played 46 games at Championship level in his career, but in that time has netted 22 goals, bagging 15 in 34 games for Hull City to help them win promotion in 2008, and then seven in 12 for Cardiff to help them win the title in 2013.

That’s an incredible record for a striker who has struggled to make his way in the Premier League when given the chance, and is arguably in need of a fresh start somewhere to help resurrect a flailing career.

And Derby must offer him that chance, as their shortcomings this term highlight how important a player Campbell could be if they land him this summer.

The Rams netted the least of any side that finished in the top half of the Championship last term, two less than promoted Huddersfield, 20 less than Brighton, and 31 less than champions Newcastle.

And their results paint a similar picture as, of their 15 Championship defeats last season, ten of them were by the odd goal, of which seven came away from the iPro Stadium.

They just needed that extra bit of quality in the final third to turn some of those defeats into draws and wins, and then they may well have secured a play-off spot.

And with Darren Bent 33 and David Nugent 32, and Matej Vydra seeming to struggle ever since he left Watford, Rowett may need to seriously re-think his forward options this summer – it even remains to be seen whether top-scoring striker Bent features in Rowett’s plans for the new season.

And that’s why a move for Campbell, a player who has struggled to find his feet in the Premier League and could do with a fresh start somewhere to prove his worth, is a must for the Rams this summer.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Why Derby have to land this out-of-contract PL star to bid for promotion next season

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