Why Alejandro Pozo could solve Derby County’s creative struggles
According to Metro (h/t Derbyshire Live), Derby County have been credited with loan interest in Sevilla academy prospect Alejandro Pozo, who is currently enjoying an impressive debut season at the Andalusian club.
The Rams had been heavily linked with Dutch U-21 midfielder Ferdi Kadioglu, who previously worked with Phillip Cocu during his managerial days at Fenerbahce in Turkey. However, he is not on the club’s wanted list in the January transfer window. (h/t Derbyshire Live)
As per the report, Derby County are looking to bring in a couple of players during the mid-season trading period, and have now turned their attention to Sevilla’s Alejandro Pozo, who has caught the eye in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League this term.
Pozo rose through the youth ranks of Sevilla before making his senior debut for the club’s reserve side in the Spanish second-tier as a 17-year-old back in 2016.
The Spaniard went on to accumulate 70 appearances for Sevilla B in the Segunda Division before joining Granada on loan for the entirety of the previous campaign.
The highly-rated starlet scored 4 goals in 31 appearances while on loan at Granada in second-tier last season, helping the club secure promotion to the La Liga before being promoted to the senior ranks at Sevilla prior to the start of the ongoing campaign.
Essentially a right-footed attacking midfielder by trade, Pozo has illustrated the versatility to play as a winger on the right flank and also as a full-back.
The Spanish U-21 international has only made 3 substitute appearances so far in the La Liga this term but his displays in the group stages of the Europa League have been really impressive.
As per Whoscored, Pozo averages 60.2 passes per game at an accuracy of 90% in the continental competition, including 1.8 key passes, 1.2 crosses, 1.8 dribbles and 1 tackle, figures which lie testament to his successful transition from the youth ranks to the senior level.
Meanwhile, Derby currently sit 17th in the standings, eight points shy of the top-six after an inconsistent run of results in the first half of the campaign. But with Rooney now in the mix, the fans at Pride Park will be hoping for the team to push on for greater heights after back-to-back wins against Charlton and Barnsley.
As evident from their tally of 26 goals scored in 26 games so far, Derby have been lacklustre in the final third this term, often finding themselves bereft of ideas in front of goal and struggling to break down the opposition.
The availability of Rooney undoubtedly comes as a massive boost but one does get the feeling that Derby need more depth and quality in their attacking options to complement the former Manchester United star.
With Kieran Dowell and Jamie Paterson departing Pride Park after a poor first half of the season, and the likes of Duane Holmes, Tom Lawrence, Florian Jozefzoon and Mason Bennett struggling to live up to the expectations, the Rams are in dire need of some creative reinforcements.
To put things into perspective, Alejandro Pozzo is still very much in his formative years and while there is no guarantee that he would be able to make an immediate impact in the EFL Championship, the youngster could still be a useful addition to a Derby’s attacking unit that is crying out for some much-needed spark and creativity.
That the 20-year-old has proven his worth in the Europa League this term is indicative of the fact that he is, indeed, capable of making a difference. His talent and potential have been there for everybody to see.
One might argue that bringing in homegrown players with more Championship experience would be a better option, but Alejandro Pozzo seems like a risk worth taking for the Rams.
Cocu worked wonders with several unknown youngsters during his managerial days at PSV Eindhoven and Derby could have a real gem on their hands if the Dutchman manages to get the best out of Pozo during the second half of the campaign.
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- Why Derby County should make a move for Ferdi Kadioglu in January
With fixtures set to come thick and fast in the coming months, Derby County should look to complete a loan deal for the Sevilla prodigy early in the January window, given that it would allow him more time to settle down in his new surroundings.