Do we need to strengthen?
With the January transfer window less than three weeks away Nigel Clough needs to strengthen the left side of midfield and bring in another striker, at least according to visitors to Vital Derby in our latest poll. Nearly a third of those responding (29%) voted that the left hand side of midfield is the area needing investment when the January sales are underway with 23% also thinking we need a new striker to bolster our options.
Gary Teale appears to be eternally unpopular with the Pride Park faithful despite being The Rams` second leading scorer and top of the assists stats so far this season. Granted he`s not everyone`s cup of tea and the physical side of the game is not his strong point but I for one think he has made a telling contribution so far this year and his work rate has improved vastly under Nigel Clough. He`s not perfect and possibly doesn`t fit into the Clough mould of young, hungry players but he`s a useful squad member and Steve Davies and Kris Commons are both able to play that role (if fit!) then we have options but Vital Derby has spoken!
Nearly a quarter of those think The Rams need a new striker and, injuries permitting, it appears this wish will be answered with James Vaughan set to return to Pride Park on loan for the rest of the season. In the short time he was here earlier this year Vaughan looked to have the pace that has been missing from the attack so far this season and was certainly an enthusiastic runner with a little bit of class about him that comes from playing at the top level. He was unlucky to have been injured when he looked set for a run in the side and has had a number of injuries in his time at Everton so it remains to be seen if he`ll stay fit for the rest of the season but he certainly looks like a useful acquisition. The return of Chris Porter will be virtually a new signing as well with the amount of time he has spent out and will further add to the options.
Third in the list of positions we need to strengthen was goalkeeper with Stephen Bywater the recognised first choice but no real backup with Saul Deeney only here to be part of the practice squad and reserves from comments made by Nigel Clough. Lewis Price looks to be returning from his time at Brentford but his wages may prove an issue with him being allowed out on loan in the first place to free up his salary and he also may not want to come back to Pride Park as a backup. There have been rumours surrounding Frank Fielding, the young Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper, although it looks as though that may be a non-starter at the moment.
The full results of the poll were:
Do we need to strengthen? If so what's the priority?
Left midfield 29%
Central midfield 10%
No, we're fine as we are 8%
Central defence 6%
Right back 4%
Right midfield 3%
Left back 3%