It was revealed on Tuesday that Derby County right-back Kwaku Oduroh had sealed a loan switch to Vanarama National League side Rochdale ahead of the 2023/2024 season.

The defender will spend the entirety of the season with the Dale, with boss Jimmy McNulty playing a huge part in Oduroh’s decision.

Initially joining the Rams last summer following his release from Manchester City after an impressive trial period over the course of pre-season, former Derby boss Liam Rosenior acted fast to secure the youngster’s services on a permanent basis.

Last season did not quite go to plan for the defender, however, as he struggled for game time once new manager Paul Warne was appointed.

Mansfield Town v Derby County - Carabao Cup First Round
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The 20-year-old managed six appearances over the course of the campaign, all in cup competitions, before being subjected to the sidelines for the remainder of the season, where he spent the majority of his time playing for the Rams’ threadbare U21s. 

His involvement, or rather lack of involvement, has left many scratching their heads as to what went wrong. He appeared to be an astute signing at first. Young, hungry for first team action with a point to prove. Frighteningly quick, but well assured with his timing when challenging for the ball. Skillful, too, dancing past players at times in pre-season, but he appeared a little lost when push came to shove and the rigmarole of competitive football returned.

Could this loan benefit both Oduroh and Derby?

He possesses talent, no doubt, proven by his longevity in the Manchester City youth set-ups. However, now is the time to make it count.

Oduroh has been presented with the opportunity to play regular first team football in the rough and tumble, so to speak, of the fifth tier. Representing a side in Rochdale who will certainly have their minds set on an immediate return to the Football League.

It is a chance for the Derby youngster to regain confidence in his abilities, toughen up, shine at a lower level, and give Rams boss Warne something to think about ahead of his contract expiring next summer.

It is a crucial campaign for both Oduroh and Rochdale for different reasons, but if things go to plan then this could be a transfer that sees all parties grinning come May.