Derby County host Stoke City this weekend but one player unavailable for the encounter is Potters striker Lee Gregory who is still nursing a trauma injury.
The 6ft 2inch striker joined the Potters from Millwall in the summer of 2019.
Gregory’s contract at Millwall was coming to an end, and several Championship clubs were eyeing a deal for him after he topped the Lions’ scoring charts in 2018-19.
But according to the Daily Mail [May 16, 2019, Page 56], Gregory chose Stoke over both Derby County and Sheffield United who were also vying for his signature.
Gregory struggled to make an impact at the Bet365 Stadium last term, scoring just six goals.
His struggles ironically saw Derby once again linked this past summer (Daily Mail).
Speaking to reporters, Stoke boss Michael O’Neill says Gregory is still a few weeks away from returning from his trauma injury. He has only made three league starts this term.
It just hasn’t happened for Gregory at Stoke.
Derby, meanwhile, have been crying out for a striker of his ilk this season.
Chris Martin’s exit in the summer left a huge void at Pride Park. Colin Kazim-Richards is currently first-choice, but the 34-year-old was never expected to be leading the line for Derby.
It’s no surprise to see Derby score the least amount of goals in the Championship this term.
Former manager Phillip Cocu lost his job last month. It’s plausible to suggest the Dutchman would still be around had Derby signed a striker in the transfer window.
Interestingly, Gregory is the exact type of striker needed to Pride Park. Tall, strong in the air, good on the ball and capable of bringing other attacking players into the game.