Derby County host Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and one player who could end up haunting the Rams is winger Jacob Murphy on loan from Newcastle United.
According to The Sun print edition (August 7; page 50), Derby headed a list of Championship clubs keen on signing the player who had fallen out of favour at Newcastle.
The Owls ultimately won the race for his signature. And now the boyhood Newcastle fan could make Derby regret missing out on him come late Wednesday evening.
Derby were in the market for a new wide player in the summer.
The Rams had to replace last season’s top scorer Harry Wilson, after the Wales international returned to parent club Liverpool before moving to Bournemouth in the summer.
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Wilson scored 18 goals last season. Replacing that output was always going to be difficult.
Derby were linked with the likes of Jordon Ibe, Scott Sinclair, Grady Diangana, Josh Bowler and of course Murphy. They ended up with Jamie Paterson.
Paterson, 27, arrived on deadline day – a season-long loan from Championship rivals Bristol City. He has started just five league games this season, scoring once.
The Bristol City man, to his credit, has performed well at Derby. However, he wasn’t the club’s first choice, and his arrival summed up the Rams’ questionable summer recruitment.
Murphy would likely have been a more uplifting acquisition. The 24-year-old cost Newcastle £12 million in 2017 after posting nine goals and six assists in the 2016-17 campaign.
Wednesday arrive at Derby currently positioned inside the top six. Murphy, meanwhile, has started eight league games for the Owls this term, scoring twice. He played the full 90 minutes during last weekend’s win over Brentford and will probably start at Pride Park.