Derby County and Watford have missed out on the signing of Jordan Obita as the 26-year-old recently signed a deal with Oxford United which could extend until 2022 (BBC).
Obita was a free transfer in the summer having left Championship side Reading.
According to the Sun (September 25, page 55), Derby, Watford and Bournemouth were all eyeing a deal for him with the player returning to full fitness.
Obita was a regular for Reading, helping the Royals reach the playoff final under Jaap Stam. However, over the past three years he has struggled with injuries.
Now it seems he is back to full fitness and at 26 he still has a lot to offer.
But in Derby’s case, they won’t have any regrets at missing out on him despite their current struggles and position at the bottom of the Championship table.
While Obita could have been a solid freebie, the left-back slot is well and truly occupied.
The emergence of Lee Buchanan has without doubt been Derby’s biggest positive so far this season. And for many supporters, it is completely unexpected.
Buchanan got a taste of first-team football last season. However, the 19-year-old looked raw, and it seemed like a loan spell elsewhere was the best course of action.
But following the departures of Max Lowe, sold to Sheffield United, and Scott Malone, loaned to Millwall, a clear path had opened up for Buchanan to excel.
The talented youngster has grabbed the opportunity with both hands, starting eight Championship games so far and earning the spot ahead of fellow left-back Craig Forsyth.
Buchanan’s latest reward for his fine form was a call-up to the England U21 squad. He made his debut this week, coming on as a substitute against Andorra in a 3-1 win.
Obita clearly has talent to have attracted both Watford and Bournemouth. But Derby will feel they made the right choice in backing one of their own academy graduates.