According to The Guardian (h/t Stoke Sentinel), Derby County have been credited with an interest in Tottenham Hotspur academy graduate, Cameron Carter-Vickers, who has been recalled prematurely from his loan spell at Championship rivals Stoke City.
Carter-Vickers, who turned 22 on December 31, was rotated at centre-back and right-back by Nathan Jones and Michael O’Neill at the Bet365 Stadium during the first half of the campaign, but he never really managed to cement his place in a backline that has already shipped 42 goals in the Championship this season.
The 8-cap United States international slipped further down the pecking order under O’Neill following his unimpressive displays as a makeshift right-back before a mutual agreement was reached with Tottenham to terminate his loan deal midway through the season.
However, as per the report, Derby County are prepared to offer Cameron Carter-Vickers an immediate route back to the Championship, with Rams boss Phillip Cocu looking to cast his rod into the January transfer pond for some fresh acquisitions.
Interestingly, the Rams had been linked with a loan move for the 22-year-old this past summer but they eventually lost out to Stoke City in the race to secure his services. (h/t Derbyshire Live)
Tottenham are prepared to cash in on him permanently but they are looking for a fee in the region of £4million, which could make a permanent move to a Championship club difficult to materialize in January. (h/t Stoke Sentinel)
Meanwhile, Derby County currently languish at 17th place in the Championship standings, 10 points adrift of the top-six, and Cocu surely has plenty of food for thought in the coming months.
All four playoff spots are still very much up for grabs but the Rams will need a herculean effort in the second half of the season to get themselves back in the mix.
Undoubtedly, a scoring record of just 24 goals in 25 games so far is something that Cocu will definitely need to sort out moving forward if the Rams are to mount an unlikely challenge for the top-six.
To that end, the availability of former England captain Wayne Rooney for the home fixture against Barnsley is expected to hand a massive boost to the club’s ailing strike force, although, in an ideal world, a few fresh attacking recruits in January, could well make a big difference.
With that in mind, however, Derby haven’t done all that well defensively either, and a record of 34 goals shipped in 25 games so far don’t really make for impressive readings on paper.
The contract termination of former club captain Richard Keogh following the veteran’s car-crash incident has left Derby somewhat short of adequate cover at the back and the arrival of a new central defender in January would make sense in that regard.
To put things into perspective, Cameron Carter-Vickers might have struggled to make a big impact on his loan spell at Stoke City but his obvious ball-playing qualities as a defender mean that the youngster could well be a handy addition to Derby County’s backline during the mid-season trading period.
Brighton loanee Matt Clarke has been an influential presence at the heart of the defence whenever he has been fit to play but the 23-year-old has often been let down by injuries, with Cocu forced to pair Craig Forsyth with veteran Curtis Davis at the back in recent weeks.
Krystian Bielik, who arrived from Arsenal in the summer, is more than capable of playing as a central defender but Cocu has preferred to use him largely as a holding midfielder in his double pivot in the middle of the park.
Hence, Derby can certainly do with a little bit more cover at the back, with fixtures set to come thick and fast in the coming months, and Carter-Vickers already has some decent Championship experience under his belt, having previously spent time on loan at Sheffield United, Ipswich Town, Swansea City and Stoke City at this level.
Besides his obvious ball-playing qualities, the United States international has also illustrated the versatility to play as a right-back, although the Rams would be better off looking at him as an out-and-out centre-back to sort out issues regarding a lack of squad depth.
Moreover, Derby County have freed up one loan slot in their squad by opting to send Jamie Paterson back to Bristol City and the arrival of Carter-Vickers could add a bit more stability to their backline.
Having said that, Cameron Carter-Vickers to Derby County makes perfect sense for all parties involved.
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