The Athletic’s Derby County correspondent Ryan Conway has confirmed that the Rams are still going to prioritise signing a centre-forward in the January transfer window, despite Curtis Davies picking up a potential long-term injury.
In Conway’s latest article for The Athletic, the journalist explained that while the severity of Davies’ Achilles injury is not known yet, things look ‘ominous’ for the centre-back at present and the injury may well keep him out of action beyond his 36th birthday in March, with the ageing defender’s current Rams contract set to expire at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
Where does this injury leave Derby County in terms of centre-back options?
Davies has played in the majority of the Rams’ Championship games so far this season, starting 11 of their first 17 league games this term, up until his injury versus Brentford last week.
Per Transfermarkt, while several Derby players can deputise at centre-back, Davies is one of only three natural central defenders at the club, one of whom – Mike te Wierik – hasn’t even been included in the matchday squad in any of the Rams’ last eight games, with Conway explaining in his report that the Dutchman, who signed for Derby from Groningen in the summer, ‘is currently trying to get minutes with Derby’s U23s.’
How is this potential crisis at centre-back expected to influence the Rams’ January transfer business?
As a result of Derby’s lack of natural options at centre-back following Davies’ injury, with right-back Andre Wisdom filling in at the heart of defence alongside Matthew Clarke versus Stoke City on Saturday, Conway has stated that the club ‘may now have to consider’ moving for a centre-back when the transfer window re-opens next month.
However, the journalist has revealed that cover for Davies has not taken priority over the Rams’ search for a striker, with Conway declaring that recruiting a new player in that position is still at the top of their January shopping list.
Should Derby prioritise signing a centre-back?
This may be understandable when you consider that Derby have currently got the worst league goalscoring record of any Championship side for the 2020/21 campaign.
However, if things aren’t bad enough at the centre-back position at present, an injury to Clarke could really give the Rams something of a crisis in that position and so, surely they must move for a centre-back as well, even if a striker is their priority.
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