Despite the report claiming that newly-appointed Rams boss Phillip Cocu was interested in a reunion with his former Eindhoven player, a move to Pride Park never really materialized for the 23-year-old, who eventually completed a move to fellow Dutch Eredivisie outfit FC Utrecht.
Derby thereafter roped in the likes of Kieran Dowell and Jamie Paterson on loan deals from Everton and Bristol City respectively to fill in the shoes of departing loanees, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson.
Meanwhile, Krystian Bielik came through the door as a big-money marquee signing from Arsenal.
Fast forwarding the sequence of events to December, the January transfer window is just around the corner and Derby County would be wise to dip into the market for some significant reinforcements after a rather lacklustre first half of the campaign.
The Rams currently sit 17th in the standings, eleven points adrift of the top-six, after accumulating only 6 wins in 23 games so far and their hopes of replicating last season’s incredible march to the playoff final looks all but over.
A 3-0 hammering at the hands of Reading means that Derby will now make the Boxing Day trip to Wigan Athletic on the back of a winless run of six games in the Championship.
A mediocre-looking tally of just 21 goals scored in 23 games clearly suggests that Derby have offered little in front of the goal this term. Martyn Waghorn (6 goals), Chris Martin (4 goals, 3 assists) and Tom Lawrence (5 goals) have chipped in with some sporadic contributions but the creative department has let them down.
The on-loan duo of Dowell and Paterson, as well as the likes of Mason Bennett, Duane Holmes and Florian Jozefzoon, have done little to provide that creative spark further up the pitch.
The availability of former England captain Wayne Rooney in a player-manager role come January will hand a massive boost to the club’s underwhelming strike force but one does get the feeling that some creative recruits could be the key to Derby’s chances of turning the tables in the second half of the season.
To that end, Derby County reigniting interest in Bart Ramselaar could solve a nagging issue in a key area of the pitch for Cocu, who would already have a good knowledge of the midfielder’s skillset from his managerial days at Eindhoven.
The 23-year-old Dutch international was a useful squad player for Cocu when Eindhoven beat arch-rivals Ajax to claim the Eredivisie title back during the 2017-18 campaign.
The highly-rated attacking midfielder has somewhat resurrected his career since completing a move back to his former club Utrecht this past summer, having slipped down the pecking order at PSV under Mark van Bommel.
Ramselaar has contributed with 3 goals and an assist in 11 league outings for Utrecht this term, boasting of a pass success rate of 88.1%, including 0.8 key passes, 1.1 tackles and 1.4 dribbles per game, as per whoscored.
Those numbers indicate that Ramselaar could well be the man to solve Derby’s lack of creativity in the final third.
Having said that, Derby County shouldn’t hesitate to make a renewed attempt to lure Bart Ramselaar to Pride Park during the mid-season trading period.
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