Derby County manager Wayne Rooney believes Lee Buchanan is one of the best young left-backs in the country amid reported interest from West Ham United.
Buchanan has broken through to Derby’s first-team this season ahead of Craig Forsyth.
The 19-year-old has made 18 Championship starts and grabbed his first assist in the recent win over Bristol City as his excellent cross was fired home by Colin Kazim-Richards.
Buchanan’s progress at Derby, however, hasn’t gone unnoticed.
West Ham boss David Moyes is said to be plotting a bright future with the Hammers, and Derby’s Jason Knight, Max Bird and Louie Sibley are also in his sights.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the trip to Rotherham United, Derby boss Wayne Rooney told the Athletic’s Ryan Conway how impressive Buchanan has been.
Man, high praise for Buchanan from Rooney: “He’s a top, top player. I’d argue he’s one of the best young left-backs in the country. And he can go to another level as well….no….he’s a real top player.”
— Ryan Conway (@RJConway92) February 1, 2021
Buchanan’s form for Derby has earned him international recognition with England U21s.
England has produced several class right-backs over the past decade, with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Aaron Wan-Bissaka all top players.
Former Derby player Jaydon Bogle will be hoping he can also add to the list.
But on the opposite flank on the left, fewer players have made the grade and that’s arguably why Ben Chillwell cost Chelsea such a high figure from Leicester City last summer.
Buchanan has plenty of potential. If he continues to improve at such a quick rate, then the Rams have a potential gem on their hands who could warrant a huge future fee.