Derby County host Sheffield Wednesday this week in a game which sees several players having somewhat of a history with both clubs.
Owls duo Barry Bannan and Sam Winnall both spent time on loan at Pride Park. Derby’s Jack Marriott, meanwhile, was linked with Wednesday before joining the Rams.
Marriott, 25, was a standout in League One for Peterborough United. He hit 32 goals in a single campaign for Posh, alerting several Championship clubs.
According to the Daily Mail, Wednesday were among them. The Owls’ leading scorer at the time was Gary Hooper, who netted a measly 11 goals in comparison.
But the Yorkshire club ultimately missed out on him as Derby signed Marriott for a reported £5 million fee in 2018. He was one of five permanent Frank Lampard additions.
Fast forward 18 months, and the Owls may feel they dodged a potential bullet.
In 30 Championship appearances in 2019, including the playoff games against Leeds United and Aston Villa, Marriott has managed to score a mere four goals.
The former Posh striker is popular at Pride Park among fans. He is a terrier renowned for his finishing ability. However, he has ultimately had a 2019 to forget on the field.
His lack of goals may come from a lack of proper first team opportunities. Both Lampard and now Cocu don’t seem to favour him as a first team regular.
But is there something else behind his struggles? This season, Marriott has made 17 appearances in all competitions (seven league starts), scoring just once.
Wednesday, meanwhile, aren’t struggling for goals. Steven Fletcher has already hit double figures this term, while Kadeem Harris and Atdhe Nuhiu have also contributed.
Marriott, 25, still has plenty of years ahead of him. However, something must change, or he could risk becoming another one of those who didn’t quite match the original hype.