Why Derby County should make a move for free agent Efe Ambrose
Nigerian centre-half Efe Ambrose finds himself without a club after invoking a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave Hibernian earlier in the January transfer window.
Efe Ambrose, 30, joined Neil Lennon’s team permanently on a two-year deal after a successful loan spell that saw Hibernian get promoted to the Scottish top-flight. The defender, who was a massive hit for Celtic, for whom he played from 2012 to 2017, has become a free agent after leaving Hibernian last month.
That said, Derby County must quickly snap him up as Frank Lampard eyes promotion to the Premier League.
Derby County drew 0-0 with Preston at the weekend that saw them drop out of the play-off places, with Bristol City replacing them after another win.
It is no secret that the Rams are keen on a new centre-back, with only Fikayo Tomori and Richard Keogh as the options in central defence. There is very little cover for Tomori and Keogh, and Lampard knows it.
Lampard missed out on signing a centre-back in the January transfer window but the market of free agents is available to him. The former Chelsea star has now admitted that he might be looking at the free agent market after suffering deadline day disappointment.
Without thinking twice, Derby must offer Efe Ambrose a contract at least until the end of the season. Going with only two fit defenders for the upcoming crucial three months of football would be disastrous and Lampard must add cover to his defensive options by bringing in Efe Ambrose.
Ambrose has spent the last seven years of his career in Scotland, playing for Celtic and Hibernian. The Nigerian international has lifted the Scottish Premiership trophy four times with Celtic and has helped Hibernian earn promotion from the Scottish Championship.
The 30-year-old’s vast experience of playing in Scotland combined with his strength and ability to play out from the back makes him a must-have for Derby. He’ll bring some much-needed physicality to the Derby backline and give Lampard another option in central defence.
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Ambrose, who can also play at right-back, is just 30-year’s old and has a lot left to offer. On a short-term deal, the Nigerian would at least be an experienced figure to call upon if needed as the Rams enter the business end of the season.