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This 6ft 4in La Liga giant would be a great signing for Derby County and Lampard must get him

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Why Guillermo Maripan would make a great signing for Derby County

Standing at 6ft 4in with a towering frame, Chilean centre-back Guillermo Maripan has been one of the cornerstones of Deportivo Alaves’ early-season success in the La Liga.

The 24-year-old has been at the centre of everything that Alaves have achieved this season. The Chilean has been an integral part of a solid backline that has conceded only 17 goals in 16 La Liga games so far. Stability at the back has been the key to the club’s success and Guillermo Maripan has caught the eye with his consistently impressive performances at the back.

A youth graduate of Chilean club Universidad Catolica, Maripan made his senior debut in 2013 and was a seasoned campaigner for his boyhood club until the end of the 2016/17 season. The 24-year-old made a move to Deportivo Alaves at the start of last season and showed in his debut season that he has all the attributes to taste success in Europe.

Maripan’s greatest asset as a centre-back is his height, which gives him an obvious advantage over most of his offensive counterparts. He is a decent reader of the game in the air and averages 2.9 successful aerial duels per game in the La Liga this term, a marked improvement from the figures in his debut season.

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The Chilean is not very quick but he is quite agile for a defender of his stature and his strength allows him to be comfortable in contact situations with the strikers. However, the most impressive things about him are his high levels of concentration and composure.  

Maripan does not tend to dive into reckless challenges and likes to wait for the attacker to make the first move, a ploy that gives him enough time to cope with agile opposition. Furthermore, he is a no-nonsense defender who tends to clear his lines to safety rather than play out from the back.

Maripan averages 1.9 tackles, 2.2 interceptions and 5.7 clearances per game this season, figures which show his all-around abilities as a defender.

To put things into perspective, Maripan would be an ideal signing for Frank Lampard’s Derby County. The Rams have really turned it around this season and they currently sit 5th in the Championship standings with 39 points from 23 games, 9 points behind leaders Leeds United.

As things stand, the Rams will have to compete with the likes of Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough for a promotion playoff spot while automatic promotion also remains a possibility for Lampard’s men.

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Derby have one of the best defensive records in the second tier this season, having conceded only 25 goals in 23 games. Veteran Richard Keogh has been one of the mainstays of the team’s backline while Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori has also impressed.

Read More: Lampard raiding Chelsea in January for this 24-year-old forgotten figure would be a huge coup for Derby County

However, the long-term injuries to Curtis Davies and Alex Pearce have rendered Lampard short of backup options in central defence and the Rams face the risk of a potential burnout at the back should either of their first-choice centre-backs be sidelined with an injury.

That said, the Rams should start pursuing an interest in the Chilean ahead of the January transfer window.