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Derby County

West Ham should consider Derby County striker Matej Vydra this summer

The Czech Republic ace has 20 goals in all competitions this term.

Max Cohen

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Matej Vydra
Photo: Getty Images

In January, West Ham United purchased promising Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill, hopeful the 25-year-old could revitalise a misfiring Hammers attack.

Nonetheless, the £10 million move has turned out to be little more than a squad addition, playing just 22 minutes since signing in January.

The East London club would have been far better off signing a fellow 25-year-old Championship forward: Derby County star Matej Vydra.

Vydra sits atop the Championship top scorer charts this season, with 19 goals in the league and 20 in all competitions. These stats are simply remarkable, revealing Vydra’s lethal finishing ability and vital contributions to the Rams’ promotion push.

Derby manager Gary Rowett tipped Vydra for Premier League greatness last week, in quotes reported by the Derby Telegraph, claiming that the Czech Republic international has the ability to score 20 goals a season in the top flight. Rowett commended the frontman on his knack for creating opportunities and also his defensive work-rate.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

This impressive duality will appeal to West Ham supporters, who have been aching for a consistent striker for many a season now. Vydra can provide an impressive striker’s instinct along with a tireless work ethic, serving as a poacher and a crucial first defender alike.

The sorry state of West Ham’s attack is summarised by the pathetically low goal tally their strikers have amassed to date. Their highest goalscorer is Marko Arnautovic with nine goals, and Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll have just ten goals combined this season.

No player has reached double figures for the Hammers, a truly sobering statistic for a Premier League club.

The addition of Matej Vydra this summer would certainly shake up the goal-shy West Ham frontline, and the Hammers should make acquiring the services of the Derby striker a top priority.

Max is an 18-year-old football journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football, is an avid follower of Fulham, and co-hosts a weekly Fulham podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Derby County

Sam Winnall to Stoke looks inevitable after Gary Rowett arrival

Josh Kerr

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Sam Winnall
Photo: Getty Images

Gary Rowett’s move to Stoke City from Derby County has added further fuel to the fire regarding Sam Winnall’s future and a potential move to Staffordshire for the new season.

The two have previously been together during their time at Burton Albion, and Rowett opted to bring the 27-year-old to Pride Park on a loan deal this season.

Winnall scored four goals in 16 Championship games for Sheffield Wednesday after arriving at Hillsborough in January 2017 from local rivals Barnsley.

He was underwhelming for the Owls initially and hence the club decided to loan him to his former manager.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Nonetheless, he has enjoyed some success at Derby this season, winning the club’s Goal of the Season award for his memorable strike against Ipswich Town back in December.

Injury has restricted Winnall to just six Championship starts but despite his time spent on the sidelines, the fans have enjoyed the Englishman’s time at Pride Park and are crying out for him to stay.

Nonetheless, Rowett’s move to Stoke was the icing on the cake for Wednesday supporters and unsurprisingly talk of a switch to the Bet365 Stadium has surfaced on social media.

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Championship

Frank Lampard would represent a gamble for Derby, but one worth taking

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Frank Lampard
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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has emerged as the favourite to become the new manager of Derby County.

The Rams are currently searching for their seventh manager in three years as their former gaffer Gary Rowett opted for a move to Stoke City earlier this week.

Despite a respectable season – which saw them bow out to Fulham in the play-off semi-finals – Derby fans are again scrolling the social media feeds for their next commander-in-chief.

The bookies believe that to be Frank Lampard.

Lampard’s Sky Bet odds have fallen from 16/1 to 1/4 in just days, with the former favourite – Brentford’s Dean Smith – falling to 7/2.

ESPN, meanwhile, have added more fuel to the Derby rumour train citing that sources close to Lampard suggested that a move to Pride Park is one that would interest him.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

The BT Sports Pundit has spoken publicly of his eagerness to get into management and Sky Sports reported that he had two interviews with Ipswich Town earlier this month to fill the Mick McCarthy void. However, reports have since fallen quiet on the Tractor Boys front.

Lampard could also be driven further by – former England teammate – Steven Gerrard’s move to Rangers. Gerrard has already been linked to and added a variety of names to the Rangers squad including former Scotland number one Alan McGregor and former Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield.

Despite all the hype, the Derby Telegraph understands that an appointment at Pride Park before the end of the week is unlikely. However, as the Rowett move to the Bet 365 Arena suggests, the booking odds are rarely wrong. There appears to be some substance in the Lampard link which makes it more than just a rumour.

Whoever takes over at Pride Park will have to deal with an ageing squad, a huge loanee return list, tight financial fair play restrictions and as a result; a much smaller budget than the one of recent seasons.

Despite his lack of Championship or managerial experience, it is frightening to consider what Lampard’s contact list may look like.

If the Chelsea legend does become a Ram, an influx of Chelsea academy products on loan could be expected. The 39-year-old’s lack of managerial experience could be a massive gamble for Derby, but a gamble may be what they need

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Derby County

Another blow for Derby who are set to lose talented youngster Luke Thomas

The 19-year-old is being linked with a move to the top flight.

Josh Kerr

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Luke Thomas
Photo: Getty Images

After losing manager Gary Rowett to Stoke City last night, who guided the club to a sixth-place finish, the Rams are already awaiting another setback as talented youngster Luke Thomas is reportedly preparing to leave Pride Park.

According to Gloucestershire Live, West Ham United have launched a £1.2 million bid to lure Thomas to the Premier League after Derby missed out on promotion, losing their play-off semi-final to Fulham over two legs.

Thomas moved to Pride Park in January 2016 from Cheltenham Town and the Gloucestershire club will reportedly receive a portion of any potential transfer fee.

The 19-year-old, who is from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire has so far made two substitute appearances for the first team, in home wins over Queens Park Rangers and Bolton Wanderers.

The loss of Thomas may not prove as costly as manager Rowett. However, the potential departure of the teenager comes at an awful time for Rams supporters considering he is considered one of their most promising academy players.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Thomas gained valuable senior experience after he spent time on loan at Gloucester City in 2016/17, impressing for the then National League North outfit.

He is a versatile attacking midfielder who has made a name for himself in his home county. He is considered one of the best youngsters to come out of Gloucestershire in recent years, and Derby losing him could soon prove a huge loss.

The arrival of Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham, who likes to play an attacking brand of football, will come as exciting news to Thomas who, could have a huge future at the London club if the move goes through.

The forward made 17 Premier League 2 appearances for the Rams under-23 side, scoring six goals and providing one assist.

It is a big fee to pay for a youngster but the price tag only represents how talented this forward is. If reports are true, it could be another huge loss for the Rams.

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