Derby County have been linked with Blackburn Rovers striker Jack Vale, as they aim to strengthen their attacking ranks.

Football Insider claim that the 22-year-old has been told that he is free to seal a loan move away from Ewood Park this summer in order to gain valuable first team minutes, with the Rams and Blackpool leading the chase for his signature ahead of their other League One rivals.

Capped six times by Wales U21s, Vale has made just 25 appearances for Blackburn’s first team since making his debut in 2020, scoring twice and assisting once in that time.

Should the Welshman seal a loan switch this summer, it would be his fourth away from the Rovers following stints with Barrow, Rochdale and Halifax Town, although he failed to make an appearance for the Bluebirds as the season was suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Derby’s striker struggles

The forward department is in major need of a reshuffle ahead of the new campaign, with just James Collins being the only recognised striker currently within the Rams’ ranks.

David McGoldrick was Derby’s standout performer last season, registering an impressive 25 goals and seven assists in his one and only season at Pride Park before the expiry of his contract and subsequent move to boyhood club Notts County, leaving a huge gap to be filled if the Rams are to mount a promotion charge, as touted, this season.

Collins himself hit double figures during the last campaign, finding the net on 12 occasions, but the 32-year-old has split opinion amongst the Derby faithful with many feeling he is not capable of leading the line alone.

Blackburn Rovers v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship
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The loan market delivered a mixed bag of results for the Rams last time out, but with manager Paul Warne now embarking on his first pre-season with the club since his arrival last year, it means that he will have been able to fully assess his squad and properly finetune a list of targets that should fit in well with the vision for his side.

Should Vale make the East Midlands switch, it may well work well for all parties involved.

The Rams would acquire a much-needed injection of youthful exuberance and, of course, another forward option, whilst the youngster would rake in crucial game time at this stage of his career, a period in which he cannot afford to be sitting on the bench week after week.

One thing is certain; Derby need depth, and the 22-year-old could prove to be the first step towards attaining that.

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