The 27-year-old attacker was roped in on loan by the Rams from Ashton Gate during the summer window for the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign but he could be set for an early return to his parent club after struggling to nail down a regular starting role under manager Phillip Cocu.
Paterson has only played a bit-part role for Derby County in the Championship so far, starting five games and featuring as a substitute on a further five occasions. The 27-year-old, though, started both of the Rams’ League Cup fixtures earlier in the campaign.
Despite his limited game time, however, the Coventry-born forward has chipped in with some decent goal contributions in the Championship, assisting Chris Martin’s injury-time equaliser to help his team earn a 1-1 draw against Leeds United while also finding the net in the 3-2 victory over Birmingham City back in September.
The Coventry-born forward has been an unused substitute in each of Derby’s last two Championship fixtures, against Preston and Fulham, with Cocu preferring to rely on the likes of Duane Holmes, Martyn Waghorn and Tom Lawrence. Paterson last featured for the Rams as a late substitute in the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Now, as the report suggests, Derby County could be set to terminate the loan agreement that saw Jamie Paterson head to Pride Park in the summer midway through the campaign in order to cut down the wage bills and trim the squad.
The 27-year-old clearly finds himself down the pecking order under Cocu, and with the hype surrounding the arrival of former England captain Wayne Rooney as a player-coach in January, Paterson finds himself at the risk of playing even less frequently during the second half of the campaign.
To put things into perspective, Jamie Paterson’s loan move to Derby hasn’t really worked wonders for either the club or the player, and the fans at Pride Park shouldn’t be bothered too much if he heads back to Bristol City during the mid-season trading period.
Having accumulated a decent return of 16 goals and 17 assists in 113 appearances for the Robins across all competitions prior to his move to Pride Park, one does get the feeling that Derby would have expected a lot more from the loanee.
However, with the likes of Holmes, Waghorn, Lawrence and Bennett all competing for the four attacking spots in Cocu’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system, Paterson has found regular minutes hard to come by, and the arrival of Rooney in January is only going to make it tougher for him to fit into the manager’s plans as a regular fixture in the playing eleven.
Notwithstanding the fact that Paterson offers a lot with his work rate and versatility to play in multiple positions across the forward line, it has been evident from how things have panned out so far that the Rams already have sufficient depth in their squad in those positions.
To that end, and assuming that Rooney would play as a regular starter for the Rams in the Championship during the second half of the campaign, having Jamie Paterson in the ranks is only going to be a waste of wages, and Derby would do the wise thing by sending him back to Ashton Gate in January.
Plus, with the Rams set to reignite their interest in Celtic star Scott Sinclair during the mid-season trading period, Paterson could find himself blown out of the water if Cocu does go on to get a deal over the line for the veteran. (Football Insider h/t Derbyshire Live)
That is he not a massive upgrade on the club’s existing attacking options has been quite evident from his returns so far and Cocu needs to find a settled line-up sooner rather than later in order to reinvigorate the club’s surge for promotion.
The Dutchman has constantly rotated his players in the wide roles so far he cannot afford to continue tinkering with his selection for much longer if the Rams are to catch up with their rivals in the playoff race.
Looking at things from the player’s perspective, it hardly makes any sense for him to spend time away from his parent club if he only continues to play a bit-part role at Derby County, and it would be in his best interests to try and re-establish himself as a regular at Bristol City under Lee Johnson.
Suffice to say, Derby terminating the loan spell of Jamie Paterson midway through the season seems to make perfect sense for all parties involved.
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