According to The Sun (September 25, Page 55), Derby County are rivalling Championship duo Watford and Bournemouth for free agent Jordan Obita.
The coveted left-back is a free agent after leaving Reading in the summer.
Rewind four months and you would say that a new left-back was the least of Derby’s worries for this season considering the options at Phillip Cocu’s disposal.
The situation now, however, has drastically changed.
Many tipped Max Lowe to establish himself as the regular left-back this season, but he joined Premier League side Sheffield United in a deal including Jayden Bogle.
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Scott Malone, a £3 million signing by Frank Lampard only two years ago, also departed the club as he joined Millwall on loan while entering the final year of his contract.
The Rams started the summer with four left-backs. Now, they are down to two, with Craig Forsyth struggling for form and fellow academy graduate Lee Buchanan coming in.
Buchanan made his debut at the beginning of last season. He returned to the U23s, before starting the final game of the campaign in the 3-1 win at Birmingham City.
With Lowe and Malone gone, this is now Buchanan’s chance to break through permanently.
However, his latest display unfortunately suggests he is not quite ready yet. The 19-year-old boasts potential, but he appears extremely raw for Championship football.
Blackburn Rovers thrashed Derby 4-0 on Saturday in a woeful game for the Rams.
Alarmingly, it could have been much worse had it not been for goalkeeper David Marshall. And this follows back-to-back defeats against Reading and Luton Town.
Manager Phillip Cocu has his work cut out, but Obita could solve at least one issue.
Having started his career as a winger, the former Reading man is quick, good in possession and importantly both strong and athletic – a trait Derby lacked against Rovers.
Watford and Bournemouth are also reportedly keen. But Derby could offer him first-team football, while Orbita needs a fresh start and regular playing time.
Cocu’s side were guilty of being far too lightweight against Rovers. Adding steel and intensity is a must going forward otherwise Derby could be in for a long season.