Why Derby County should complete a January swoop for Scott Sinclair
The Rams had been linked with a deadline day swoop for the 30-year-old attacker back in the summer window but nothing came to fruition and they ended up securing a loan move for Jamie Paterson from Bristol City in a bid to bolster their wide attacking options. (Football Insider h/t Derbyshire Live)
Sinclair’s decision to stay put at Parkhead, though, has come back to haunt him so far, so much so that the former Aston Villa and Swansea City star is yet to start a single league fixture for the reigning Scottish champions.
The 30-year-old has been completely frozen out of the playing eleven by Hoops manager Neil Lennon, who has been more willing to rely on Southampton loanee Mohamed Elyounoussi, as well as youngsters Mikey Johnston and Lewis Morgan.
Sinclar, who featured for Chelsea, Man City, Swansea and Aston Villa before migrating north of the border to join Celtic in the summer of 2016, has accumulated an impressive return of 62 goals and 34 assists in 166 appearances for the Hoops over the course of his illustrious and distinguished spell at Parkhead.
The Bath-born winger was instrumental in the club’s famous ‘treble treble’ feat which they achieved at the end of the previous campaign, but with his contract set to expire at next summer, Sinclair’s days at Celtic looks numbered.
To put things into perspective, Scott Sinclair seems to be nearing the end of his time at Celtic and Derby County going back in the market for his services during the mid-season transfer window makes perfect sense given that the Rams have lacked that cutting edge in their attack.
The East Midlands outfit climbed up to 11th in the standings after bagging all three points with a 1-0 victory over Preston North End in the Championship this weekend.
However, with the Rams already five points adrift of the playoff spots and still plenty of time left to go in the season, Phillip Cocu should be wise enough to know that his team will need to do a lot more to challenge for promotion.
Meagre returns of just 19 goals in 17 games clearly highlight the need to add some much-needed x-factor to the forward line midway through the campaign.
Of course, the arrival of Wayne Rooney in January is likely to go a long way towards adding a lot more firepower to the club’s rather blunt strike force, but Derby can certainly do with a bit more quality down the flanks.
Cocu has constantly rotated his players to fill the wide roles in his preferred 4-2-3-1 system, with Mason Bennett, Jamie Paterson, Tom Lawrence, Duane Holmes, Martyn Waghorn and Florian Jozefzoon all playing out wide so far.
However, not all of them are specialist wingers by trade and that has clearly been reflected from the way they have gone about things.
To that end, someone like Scott Sinclair, who is a tried and tested wide player with proven pedigree and a bagful of experience in English football, can make a big difference to the attack with his directness and necessary skillset.
Sinclair might have plied his trade in a less competitive league over the past three seasons but he still has a lot to offer at the age of 30, and his arrival would definitely be a massive boost for a promotion-chasing club like Derby County.
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With that in mind, the Rams should go all out in their pursuit of the out-of-favour Celtic star in January, as he could well be the difference between promotion glory and another long, hard slog in the Championship.