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Oghenekaro Etebo’s dazzling World Cup should sicken Derby County fans

The Nigerian was former Derby County boss Gary Rowett’s first signing for Stoke City.

Mathew Nash

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When Stoke City completed their first signing under Gary Rowett not many batted an eyelid. The Potters paid a fee in the region of £6.35 million for the Nigerian international Oghenekaro Etebo. Signed from Portuguese outfit Feirense, after a loan spell at Las Palmas, on a five-year deal, it was something of an under-the-radar addition.

Bringing in Etebo was not seen by many as an overly impressive first signing by Rowett. Indeed, fans at his former club Derby County did not. The Rams fans were left severely disappointed in their former boss after his decision to leave for Stoke in the summer. So when Etebo scored an own goal against Croatia in the opening game of Nigeria’s World Cup campaign, Derby fans revelled in Rowett’s new future flop.

(Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

However, two games down the line and it looks like Stoke have an absolute gem on their hands. After bossing the Iceland midfield in the 2-0 triumph in Nigeria’s second game the Super Eagles came close to knocking Argentina out last night. The star of the show, Etebo.

Etebo has put in performances that have Stoke fans very excited about his season in the Championship. Some are comparing his unknown status, bargain fee and industrious play to that of Leicester City and Chelsea hero N’Golo Kante.

The 22-year-old World Cup star was a Rowett signing at Stoke and arrived just over a fortnight after the manager had left Pride Park for the Britannia.

Derby will, therefore, feel that Rowett’s departure, which was hard enough to take, has deprived them of an absolute star in the making.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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Derby County

Matej Vydra should make Leeds move instead of misguided Premier League switch

The Czech forward bagged himself 21 goals last season.

Max Cohen

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Matej Vydra
Photo: Getty Images

According to The Sun, Derby County striker Matej Vydra is on his way out of Pride Park and is seeking a Premier League move, although fellow Championship club Leeds United are also interested.

Vydra should choose to sign with Leeds and fire the Yorkshire club to promotion, as he is not ready for a return to the Premier League.

The Czech Republic international is a player who occupies the awkward space between being top-class in the second division, yet not up to speed in the top flight.

In the Championship, there is absolutely no questioning Vydra’s quality. Last season for Derby, the striker banged in 21 goals and was the division’s top scorer, and in 2012/13 for Watford he chipped in 20 goals and eight assists.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

But in the Premier League, Vydra has struggled to find his feet. In 24 total top-flight appearances (23 for West Brom and one for Watford), the 26-year-old has scored just three times and provided four assists.

His poor Premier League statistics reveal why he is unlikely to receive much interest from top-flight teams this summer. But given Derby County’s Financial Fair Play worries, manager Frank Lampard may be forced to offload the frontman against his wishes.

The addition of Vydra would be a massive coup for Marcelo Bielsa’s men, as his past managers have heaped praise on the attacker. Back in October, Gary Rowett tipped Vydra to become the best creator in the second division.

“I said to him the other day that he’s got everything to be the best number 10 in this division. Both of his feet are fantastic; he can run, he’s quick and powerful.”

Leeds United would do well to acquire the services of Matej Vydra, one of the Championship’s best striking talents who could light up Elland Road next season.

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Derby County

Three reasons why Derby is the perfect destination for Harry Wilson

According to reports the 21-year-old Liverpool youngster is close to joining Derby

Liam Thomas

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"Photo: Getty Images"

Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson signed a new contract with the Merseyside giants last week. However, the 21-year-old will be loaned out for the season to gain some vital experience and, according to the Mirror, Derby County is his likely destination.

Wilson was rewarded with a new contract by the Reds after an impressive outing with Championship strugglers Hull City last season, where the wide man scored seven goals in 13 appearances.

Now, the Welsh international looks set to be Frank Lampard’s first summer signing, joining the former England international in his first managerial appointment.

(Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

1. A chance to play under a boss who has done it all can only be inspiring

Wilson would have to chance to play under Lampard, a man who as a player won pretty much everything, this can only be inspiring for a footballer of Wilson’s age, and the former midfielder will surely know how to get the best out of the young talent at his disposal.

2. Already proved himself in the Championship last season

The Welsh international has already confirmed he can do it in the Championship, after a successful loan spell at Hull.

The young winger will only be looking to improve and, given a full season and game time, he is more than likely to do that.

3. Fearless attitude

Wilson would bring with him to Pride Park a fearless approach to improve and to take on any challenge that comes his way.

This mindset was demonstrated when at 16 Wilson made his full international debut for Wales; a testament to the youngster’s talent and solid proof he could hit the ground running at Derby.

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Keeping Curtis Davies should be Derby County’s summer priority

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Curtis Davies
Photo: Getty Images

Derby County have set a price tag of £3 million for their club captain Curtis Davies.

According to the Mirror, the 33-year-old veteran had been linked with a move along the A50 to the Bet 365 Arena and Stoke City.

Former Rams manager Gary Rowett – who made that move last month – had initially been rumoured to take several key players with him including goalkeeper Scott Carson, top goalscorer Matej Vydra and Davies.

Fortunately for Derby, the Telegraph dismissed those claims earlier this week but reported interest did prompt Lampard to put a £3 million price tag on his captain’s head.

Davies played 48 times for Derby last season, keeping 21 clean sheets and scoring one goal against his former club, Hull.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Having joined the Rams for a mere £500k from the Tigers, for a price tag to be set at £3 million – almost a year later – speaks volumes of his performances last season.

This supposed fee is a tall order for a defender of that age in the Championship – although not unjustified – but it speaks volumes of Derby’s eagerness to hold on to their number 33.

If Davies were to leave, the Derby Telegraph understands that Rams gaffer Frank Lampard would make a move to reunite with his former Chelsea teammate and current free agent; John Terry.

Although a member of last season’s Championship Team of the Year and an undeniable leader he would be a significant downgrade for the Rams.

Terry, who is four years Davies’ senior, made a respectable 35 league appearances last season but still missed more than a third of the Championship season.

(Photo by Ian Kington/Getty Images)

In a physically demanding division, asking Terry to replace Davies could be an unwise gamble. This summer the former England captain may be better placed to join the Rams as a defending rotation or coaching addition to support Lampard’s adjustment.

To ask the former Villa and Chelsea captain to lead another side through a grueling 46 game season – week in, week out – could be far-fetched.

Davies has become a mainstay in the Rams defence and was a true leader throughout this past season. If Derby were to lose him this summer it would be devastating.

It should be a priority for Lampard to retain Davies’ services this summer. Baring a ridiculous offer, the Rams should do everything they can to make sure he leads out the squad at Pride Park, next season.

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