It has been a summer which has largely been dominated by outgoings at Pride Park, which is the complete opposite to what Derby County supporters have become used to in recent years. The Rams have spent a significant amount of money in an attempt to secure promotion to the Premier League, but it has not worked out.
The likes of Matej Vydra, Ikechi Anya, David Nugent, Jason Shackell, Bradley Johnson, Nick Blackman are just a few players who have arrived at the club in recent years for significant fees. However, this summer has been different. The Rams have seen the likes of Tom Ince and Will Hughes leave the club and have subsequently suffered as a result.
However, there is still plenty of time left before the transfer window slams shut and the club have been heavily linked with a move for Leicester City midfielder Tom Lawrence. Could he be the player to transform Derby into promotion contenders?
Lack of attacking flair at Pride Park
We are still in the very early stages of the 2017/18 Championship campaign, but it has already become evident that Derby lack some attacking flair. The loss of Hughes and Ince is significant as they were two of the most creative players in Garry Rowett’s squad. Ince was the club’s top scorer last season as he found the back of the net 13 times in 40 league appearances.
The Rams did receive hefty fees for both players as they joined Premier League sides Watford and Huddersfield Town, but they are yet to reinvest this money back into the playing squad. They have signed the likes of Tom Huddlestone and Curtis Davies, but they will not replace the quality of Hughes and Ince.
Rowett’s side have failed to create many chances in their first two league matches this season as they drew 1-1 away to Sunderland and lost 2-0 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday. The performance against Wolves, in particular, was very poor as the away side had full control of the match and claimed the three points relatively easily.
Could Lawrence change Derby’s luck in front of goal?
Rowett has clearly recognised that the Rams desperately need some attacking reinforcements and has set his sights on 23-year-old Lawrence. Leicester have already rejected an opening offer of £7 million from Derby for the midfielder, but this does not appear to have put them off.
The midfielder did have a superb season on loan at Ipswich Town last season where he scored nine goals and also claimed nine assists. However, he has only had one good season, and if the Rams were to pay more than £7 million, it would be seen as a huge gamble.
This deal is looking increasingly likely now that Lawrence has reportedly made it clear to his parent club that he wants to leave this summer. He is unlikely to get much first team football at the King Power Stadium, and a move to Derby would, therefore, benefit his career moving forward. It will be interesting to see how this deal progresses in the next couple of days.