Why Derby County must go all out to sign Uche Ikpeazu in January
According to West London Sport (h/t the Derby Telegraph), Derby County are one of the clubs interested in signing Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu.
Uche Ikpeazu, 24, who began his career at Reading, arrived at Hearts from Cambridge United in 2018 on a free transfer. He endured an injury-hit debut season at Hearts, managing just two goals and four assists in 14 Premiership games. The 24-year-old has been decent in the new campaign so far, with two goals and as many assists under his name.
The report (h/t the Derby Telegraph) adds that Wigan Athletic and Bristol City have scouted Ikpeazu as well, along with Queens Park Rangers.
Derby County, meanwhile, have struggled considerably for consistency under Phillip Cocu. Whilst the Rams have been excellent at home, their form on their travels over the past few months has been woeful.
Given the fact that Derby are short on quality as well as depth, the board needs to concentrate on allowing Cocu to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window.
Strengthening the defence has to be a priority, with the Rams looking a little short of options at the heart of defence since Richard Keogh’s departure. In addition to bringing in defenders, Cocu must also recruit a striker to solve his team’s goalscoring woes. A tally of 20 goals in 19 games certainly epitomises the need for reinforcements in the attack.
Derby desperately need someone to cover and compete with Chris Martin and Martyn Waghorn, and Uche Ikpeazu would be a good fit. Ikpeazu is a talented centre-forward and has developed himself into a good goalscorer over the past 12-18 months.
After an injury-ravaged debut season with Hearts, the forward is now performing well at the club and his performances have justifiably attracted attention from a number of clubs, including Derby.
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Standing at 6ft 3in, Ikpeazu is a tall, strong and powerful striker with great aerial ability. He can hold up the ball very well and bring his teammates into the game.
Due to his burly frame, the former Blackpool star can protect the ball very well and link up well with his fellow forwards in the final third. In the video below, one could see the 24-year-old’s clinical nature in the box as well as the ability to bully defenders with his sheer strength and power.
Ikpeazu could add that much-needed physical and clinical edge to Derby’s attack, and his presence is likely to hand a significant boost to Cocu’s overall dynamics. Therefore, the Rams shouldn’t hesitate to make a move for the Hearts ace in January.