Why Matthew Pennington would be a smart signing for Derby County
Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has insisted (as cited by the club’s official Twitter account) that he will sign a couple of players when the transfer window opens in January.
Phillip Cocu, who was handed over the reins at Pride Park in July after the departure of Frank Lampard, has experienced a tough start to life in the Championship with the Rams.
Despite bolstering their squad in the summer, Derby County have struggled for consistency this season in the Championship.
Currently 11th in the Championship standings, the Rams must pick up their performance levels over the coming weeks to challenge for the play-offs in 2020.
One area the Derby tactician should prioritize strengthening is the defence, which has leaked in 21 goals in 17 appearances. After all, Richard Keogh is no longer at the club and Matt Clarke is out with an injury.
The Rams should add cover and competition for Clarke, Curtis Davies and Krystian Bielik, who are the three recognized centre-backs at present. But with Clarke set to be out for several weeks, the club’s concern in defence has become more pressing.
Back in April, East Anglican Daily Times had claimed that Derby were interested in signing Everton defender Matthew Pennington on loan during the January transfer window.
Matthew Pennington, 25, spent the last season on loan at Ipswich Town. He was one of Ipswich’s most consistent performers in an otherwise torrid season that ended with relegation.
The 25-year-old returned to Everton in the summer but was loaned to Hull City before the start of the 2019/20 Championship campaign.
However, Pennington has barely featured for Hull this term. The Warrington-born star has had a frustrating time at the KCOM Stadium. He has played just three times across all competitions, with the Tigers utilizing him as a back-up.
With the 25-year-old struggling for game time, Derby should revive their interest in January and sign him for the second half of the season.
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The central defender has bags of Championship experience, following a decent loan spell at Ipswich Town last season. And Derby would be the perfect destination for him to take his game to the next level.
All in all, Pennington would be a shrewd signing for Derby and Cocu should go all out to sign him in January.