According to a report from the Sheffield Star published earlier in the month, Derby County are among a host of clubs interested in signing out-of-favour Sheffield Wednesday shot-stopper Cameron Dawson.
The 23-year-old Sheffield-born star is also the subject of interest from Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End while Scottish giants Rangers are also very much in the race to sign the goalkeeper. (h/t Sheffield Star)
Dawson is out of contract at Hillsborough next summer and with negotiations over a new deal between the Owls and the player yet to reach a positive end, several clubs have already lined him up as a potential transfer target in the upcoming transfer window.
The former England U-19 international rose through the academy setup at Sheffield Wednesday before making his senior professional bow for the Owls in the Championship back in the 2016-17 campaign.
Dawson, though, found himself farmed out on loan to Wycombe Wanderers, Plymouth Argyle, Chesterfield and Alfreton Town in the subsequent seasons to gain more professional experience before establishing himself as the Owls’ No.1 between the sticks under Jos Luhukay in the previous campaign.
The highly-rated 23-year-old started as many as 26 games in the Championship last season but he has once again found himself down the pecking order since the dismissal of Luhukay, with subsequent managers Lee Bullen, Steve Bruce and Garry Monk preferring the more accomplished Kieren Westwood as the designated first-choice in goal.
As a result, Dawson has found his involvement restricted to very few starts in the ongoing campaign, which is hardly an ideal scenario for a young goalkeeper with lofty ambitions.
Meanwhile, Derby County currently sit 14th in the standings, six points adrift of the playoff places following a hit-and-miss start to the campaign under Phillip Cocu.
The Rams have won 6, drawn 7 and lost 6 of their first 19 league fixtures so far and they will surely have to improve on that record if they are to entertain hopes of finishing among the top-six in the division.
Meagre returns of just 20 goals clearly epitomise the need to bring in some attacking reinforcements in January, although the availability of former England captain Wayne Rooney during the second half of the campaign is expected to hand a massive boost to the club’s misfiring strike force.
With that in mind, however, the lacklustre displays of shot-stopper Kelle Roos between the sticks are gradually becoming a major cause of concern for the club faithful, with the Dutchman coming under scrutiny for some basic goalkeeping errors over the past couple of months.
Roos, who has been one of the first names on Cocu’s team sheet this term, has shipped 24 goals in 18 games so far while managing 5 clean sheets in the process.
Indeed, those numbers make for some decent reading but Derby can certainly do with a new shot-stopper in January if the Dutchman’s recent questionable performances are anything to go by.
The 27-year-old, of course, is right up there with some of the very best in the Championship when it comes to saving shots, however, it is his inability to judge the flight of aerial balls that continues to be a cause of concern at Pride Park.
In the club’s recent 3-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham, Roos looked indecisive in Bobby Reid’s opener and he was also beaten by Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header where the ideal option for him would have been to come out and claim the cross.
Those who have assessed him at close quarters would know that Roos is not the best when it comes to commanding his penalty area, leave alone his ineptness in catching crosses.
With the experienced Richard Keogh no longer in defence, such ineptitude between the sticks could cost Derby a playoff place at the end of the season.
Cocu doesn’t really have too many other options at his disposal should he opt to drop Roos from the No.1 role in the coming months, with Huddersfield Town loanee Ben Hamer hardly an upgrade on the Dutchman while Scott Carson is out on loan at Man City.
To that end, bringing in someone like Cameron Dawson in January could go a long way towards increasing competition for places between the sticks at Pride Park.
With some decent Championship experience already under his belt, 23-year-old certainly has the potential to reach greater heights in his career, and he could well prove to be a solid long-term investment for the Rams.
All in all, Cameron Dawson to Derby County on a potential cut-price deal in January makes perfect sense and this looks like a move that could work out well for all parties involved.
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