This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Derby County are reportedly interested in a deal to sign midfielder Josh Bowler, following his release from Premier League side Everton, according to Hull Live.
Bowler found game time hard to come by with the Toffees, and spent time out on loan with EFL clubs in search of regular minutes.
The 22-year-old made 31 appearances in a loan spell with Hull City in the 2019/20 season, although his efforts weren’t quite enough, as Grant McCann’s side were relegated into League One in that campaign.
Bowler scored three goals in six appearances for Everton’s Under-23s side this term, but was released from Everton when his contract with them reached a conclusion in the summer.
Derby County are reportedly interested in landing his signature this summer as well, as Wayne Rooney looks to add depth to his first-team squad ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Derby’s interest in signing Bowler this summer, and whether he’d be a good signing or not for the Rams.
This is a signing that could be a positive one for the Rams to make this summer, with Bowler available on a free transfer and still having plenty of potential to be developed further if he can find the right permanent home this summer.
Bowler needed to get out of Everton and move somewhere he has a chance of featuring on a regular basis. Derby will at the moment not be blessed with the biggest transfer budget while their ownership situation remains unclear. Therefore, a move for the 22-year-old might be one of the better options they have available to them at present.
The attacker is far from the finished article, and the Rams should not expect him to explode into life straight away if he arrives. However, there is talent there and it would be up to Wayne Rooney to get the best out of him and give him the platform to show he belongs in the Championship.
For Bowler, a move to Derby would be a brilliant result for him this summer. He would get the chance to prove a point to Everton and show that he can be a player that has the potential to be a strong performer in the Championship. This makes sense I feel for both parties.
I struggle to see why this deal would be a priority.
There’s no doubt that Josh Bowler is a talented player but his career has really stalled since moving to Everton. While he was relatively successful during a loan spell with Hull City, he’s never really proven himself on a consistent basis.
Derby County need players who can hit the ground running and on that basis I’m not sure that Bowler is the right choice.
That said, he is available on a free transfer so could be worth a punt, but I think it would be naive to expect him to thrive straight away.
Can you score full marks on this 21-question Derby County quiz?
This wouldn’t exactly inspire you with confidence if you are a Derby fan.
At 22, Bowler has only really had one notable campaign in his career so far and that was playing 28 games as Hull City were relegated from the Championship. And, during that period, he managed just one goal and no assists, which is not what you want from an attacking player.
Having said that, Bowler is clearly talented having been at Everton for so long and he does have time on his side in terms of improving and developing. So, on a free transfer, you could argue that it’s a low-risk move for the Rams and worth a gamble.
However, in the bigger picture, Derby are going to need more proven players to improve the team if they don’t want to be battling relegation again.