Eric Steele addressed all of the latest Derby County news on a recent edition of the BBC’s Sportscene Podcast and he spent some time talking about the remainder of the January transfer window during the show.
The Rams are currently under a transfer embargo after some players’ wages weren’t paid for the month of December ‘amid doubts’ over Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan’s Rams takeover, which is yet to reach completion after receiving the EFL’s approval back in early-November.
With less than half of the January transfer window now remaining, Steele suggested that a lack of quality options for Wayne Rooney, who had been the Rams’ caretaker manager before he was officially appointed Derby boss on a permanent basis last week, is the primary reason why they are “desperate” to get new additions in the door.
The pundit went on to explain that the striker position and the attacking midfielder position need “urgent attention” from new Rams boss Rooney, saying: “When Steve [McClaren] came in, he said straight away, ‘we can tweak this, look what we’ve got! Options in midfield, options wide, options up top’ – we haven’t got that at the moment. That’s why we’re desperate.
“The number nine wasn’t replaced. Have we got a creative midfield player since Wayne Rooney’s stopped playing? No. They’re the issues, for me, that really do need urgent attention in the next two weeks.”
Which position needs strengthening most?
TIF Thoughts on what Steele said about these “urgent” problems for Rooney…
Derby have got the joint-worst goalscoring record of any Championship side for the 2020/21 campaign. So, with the club in a Championship relegation battle, it may be understandable why Steele seemingly believes that strengthening in attacking areas could be key for the club’s survival hopes.
Additionally, per Transfermarkt, Derby have got just one natural attacking midfielder in their senior squad at present, while they’ve got just two natural strikers, who have scored just five league goals between them in the league this season.
With that in mind, we agree with Steele’s claim that Rooney must add quality to these positions as soon as possible and Steele’s desperation for the club’s transfer embargo to be lifted so that the new manager can do this may be justified.