Derby County supporters have been somewhat quieter in recent times after seeing their side embark upon a three-match winless run in the Championship.
Frank Lampard’s men went into their trip to Queens Park Rangers at the weekend off the back of drawing at home to Norwich City as well as losing to Bolton Wanderers in their previous two league games, and thus seeking to get back to winning ways in the capital on Saturday. Yet they were unable to do just that despite taking the lead at Loftus Road through Jack Marriott, with Geoff Cameron equalising for the Hoops just after the break to secure a 1-1 draw from the encounter.
Thus, there have been many quiet Derby fans up and down the country in recent times, although several are convinced that their side will improve as the season wears on given how busy their team were during the summer transfer window.
And the Rams were rightly praised for some of the signings they made during the close season, which follows on from their decision to sell striker Matej Vydra to Burnley back in August for £10.98 million (as per Transfermarkt).
The Czech Republic international was regularly linked with a move away from Pride Park during the summer, with Leeds United one side keen on the forward, only for Sean Dyche’s Burnley to snap him up, thus earning Derby a £2.52 million profit after signing him for £8.46 million (as per Transfermarkt) back in 2016.
But after the season he had last term for Gary Rowett’s side in finishing the division’s top goal-scorer, his big money exit, while great for the club financially, may have left some Derby fans rueing what might have been had they kept hold of the forward.
Ultimately, Vydra has been renowned goal-scorer throughout his career having shone at Watford during separate spells at Vicarage Road, with his time at Reading in the 2015/16 campaign the only stint in which he struggled for goals.
Yet Derby lured him to Pride Park in the summer of 2016 in a bid to arm them with the firepower to win promotion, and while he didn’t shine greatly in his first season in netting just five times, he more than made up for it the season after.
And that’s because the 26-year-old bagged a mightily impressive 21 goals in just 40 Championship appearances for the Rams last season in their run to sixth place under Rowett, thus resulting in Vydra finishing as the division’s top goal-scorer such was his excellent tally.
In fact, that was Vydra’s best goal-scoring season for some time to suggest that he had re-discovered his best form, and he could well have taken that into this season and built upon it under new boss Lampard – he could have been a big asset to the Chelsea legend.
Yes, Derby fans are sure to remember Vydra’s time at the club fondly given the amount of goals he scored last season, let alone the fact that they got a very healthy sum of money from Burnley for the forward, but having performed so well last time round, there must be an element of frustration that he wasn’t able to kick on this season – doing so could have been great for him, and indeed great for the Rams.
As such, while the club’s hierarchy won’t scoff at £10.98 million for two years’ work from the 26-year-old, his exit this summer may well have left some sections of the Derby faithful rueing what might have been.
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