Former Derby County player and coach Eric Steele appeared on a recent edition of the BBC’s Sportscene Podcast to discuss all of the latest Rams news.
One topic that the pundit touched on during the show was the Rams’ January transfer business. The East Midlands club is currently under a transfer embargo, which is not set to be lifted until Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan’s takeover goes through.
Some players have left Pride Park this month, however, with Mike te Wierik and Duane Holmes both departing from the relegation-battling Rams and Rooney himself retiring as a player to become the club’s manager.
During this podcast, Steele declared that he’s hopeful the EFL will lift the Rams’ transfer embargo, with the pundit explaining that he thinks Rooney knows he must make some additions to his squad this month, as Derby will “be stretched” for the rest of the season otherwise.
Steele said: “Hopefully, [the] EFL lifts the ban, Wayne has then got the next week. By 11 o’clock in a week’s time, it’s all over, the window’s gone.
“At the moment, we’ve got Marriott gone, we’ve got Holmes gone – I think Wayne knows he’s got to get replacements in.
“Has he got funds available? That, again, is going to be split between the outgoing owner and the incoming owner. Are they prepared to put the funds up? Will they do it if the final details haven’t been completed? We hope, for Wayne’s sake and the team’s sake, because we will look threadbare.
“If we get past this window without reinforcing, we really are going to be stretched between now and the end of May.”
Will Derby sign anyone this month?
TIF Thoughts on what Steele said about Derby County’s transfer window…
Derby’s first-team squad is undoubtedly weaker now that Rooney has fewer options available to him than he did just last month, and given that the East Midlands club ended up in a relegation battle with the squad that they had, it certainly doesn’t bode well for their Championship survival hopes if they have to face the rest of the campaign with an even weaker squad.
We feel that it wouldn’t be a surprise if Rooney also feels this is the case and believes that reinforcements are necessary, as Steele also seems to think that the Rams manager believes.
However, at present, the club is under a transfer embargo, with the takeover saga yet to reach a conclusion, so it remains to be seen if Rooney does get the chance to make additions to his squad this month, with the transfer window closing in less than a week.